PGA Tour pros offer perspective on PGA Championship entrance debacle

The PGA Championship entrance debacle caused quite a storm at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday.

Someone unfortunately lost their life after getting struck by a shuttle bus, and then, in a separate incident, police arrested Scottie Scheffler and booked him into jail for four different charges.

Thankfully, the World No. 1 made it back for his morning tee time, but it was still a disastrous situation for all involved. The two-time Masters winner then returned to the golf course and shot a 5-under 66 despite the insane drama that surrounded him.

Scheffler even called the situation a misunderstanding and thanked the police officers after his round for doing their jobs because that is who he is.

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However, 155 other players needed to get onto the property. Granted, the PGA of America delayed tee times, but that did not make it any easier. Half the field still had to maneuver traffic and other delays.

That included the likes of Harris English, Will Zalatoris, Austin Eckroat, and Min Woo Lee, all of whom detailed their mornings after their second rounds. Some of their words made Scheffler’s arrest even more mind-boggling.

Zalatoris explained to Gabby Herzig, a reporter for The Athletic, that he, Cam Young, and Eckroat walked the final stretch to make it on time.

Eckroat gave his side of the story after his round.

“I was on my way here when we received the text about a delay. I got to two miles away, and it took me about 30 minutes,” Eckroat said.

“I ended up getting out of my car, walking a mile and a half, and having my wife drive the car in. It was a weird morning. Something I’ve never experienced. It was a tragedy followed by a weird incident. It was interesting, but luckily, it didn’t affect my play too badly.”

Harris English had to change his route completely.

“I had no idea what was going on. They weren’t letting anybody through from that side I was arriving from, so I had to turn around, go north of the course, took an extra 20 minutes or so, and then I got into the club,” English said.

“It’s dark, it’s raining, police lights everywhere. It was strange coming into the course this morning. Not the normal quiet arrival.”

When asked about the incident surrounding Scheffler, English provided some perspective.

“That could have been any one of us,” English added.

“We’re all taking that same route coming into the club. Very unfortunate. You never want to hear about a person losing their life coming to the course. It’s just terrible.”

Lee offered more details. He noted that both situations from this morning affected him before and during his round.

Min Woo Lee, PGA Championship

Min Woo Lee during the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship.
Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Before he teed off, Lee tweeted, “Free Scottie.”

Like many of the players, including Scheffler, Lee used a courtesy Lexus that many players used to drive each day to the course.

“I thought it was a little overreaction,” Lee said.

“I went around traffic, and I was following cars—a Lexus car that was one of the courtesy cars. A lot of people were doing it. He was in a courtesy car, too, so I don’t know what caused it. It was just more—there was no real meaning to it.”

Given all of this context, Scheffler’s arrest looks increasingly like a massive misunderstanding. But we will not officially know until the legal process plays out.

Still, only one thing from Friday is certain: this championship has proven to be a logistical nightmare for all involved.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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