close
Friday June 21, 2024

Zalatoris said players discussed asking for 2nd round to be postponed: Report

By Reuters
May 19, 2024
Will Zalatoris of the U.S. chips onto the green on the 13th hole during the second round at Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia, US on April 12, 2024.  — Reuters
Will Zalatoris of the U.S. chips onto the green on the 13th hole during the second round at Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia, US on April 12, 2024. — Reuters

LOUISVILLE: Will Zalatoris told reporters that a group of players nearly asked for the second round of the PGA Championship to be postponed after the harrowing early morning hours on Friday. According to The Athletic, Zalatoris said the conversation among the players lasted around 30 minutes after the death of a pedestrian and the arrest of No. 1-ranked Scottie Scheffler on a felony charge of assault on a police officer.

“Some of the guys were talking about, wondering if we should even play today,” Zalatoris said, according to the report. “At one point there were a group of guys in the locker room talking about going to the PGA of America about it, but I think it was dead in the water in the locker room. It was bizarre. We just didn’t know ... when Scottie was going to get out, any of the details.” The arrest came as Scheffler tried to enter Valhalla Golf Club as he drove in a player-marked courtesy car. The 27-year-old was attempting to drive around the site of a fatal accident that occurred, per Louisville Metro Police, at 5:09 a.m. ET. In that incident, a shuttle bus struck and killed an adult male pedestrian as he was crossing the road near the front gate of Valhalla. The man was a vendor working at the tournament.

Scheffler was arrested and charged with four offenses: second-degree assault on a police officer, a felony, as well as third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic. Scheffler was released from custody after being booked at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, his mug shot taken while wearing an orange jail-issued jumpsuit. He was released in time to make his tee time, which was pushed back by 80 minutes for all players because of the traffic jam that resulted from the accident. Zalatoris, who is a friend of Scheffler, said he thought the round should have at least been delayed a few hours to address the situation.

“The fatality happened, hey it was maybe, ‘Let’s not try to rush this thing in.’ It happened right in front of the gates,” Zalatoris said. “‘Let’s push this back three to four hours or something and we can make it up on the weekend.’ When it happened with Scottie, we were just all shell-shocked and didn’t know what to do or think or say. In 20/20 hindsight, maybe a four- or five-hour delay just to let the (police) do their business and let them handle everything that happened because a life was lost and let us come in as normal as possible, and unfortunately world No. 1 got arrested.