Will Zalatoris on PGA Championship Tragedy: Dead in the Water, Bizarre

"Some of the guys were talking about... wondering if we should even play today."

by Sead Dedovic
Will Zalatoris on PGA Championship Tragedy: Dead in the Water, Bizarre
© Andy Lyons/Getty Images Sport

PGA vendor employee John Mills tragically passed away after being struck in a bus lane. Many were shocked upon hearing such news, which certainly had an impact on the golfers during the first day. Following such an event, there was a delay of about 90 minutes. 

Interestingly, on that day, the brilliant Scottie Scheffler ended up in jail for disregarding traffic regulations after the accident occurred. 

However, Scheffler didn't stay long and was soon released. 

Will Zalatoris, a well-known name in the golf scene, reacted to the tragedy at Valhalla Golf Club, emphasizing that some golfers were questioning whether to play. Many were shocked and surprised, and the situation appeared distressing.

"Some of the guys were talking about... wondering if we should even play today. 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, (or) any of the details."- Zalatoris said, as quoted by NY Times.

Zalatoris believes that after such a tragedy, it was necessary to consider their options, suggesting that the tournament should have been postponed for some time. Zalatoris wasn't pleased that they had to play immediately afterward. 

The situation with Scottie Scheffler also appeared concerning. There were many question marks hanging over their heads, with no real answers. However, the PGA Championship officials ultimately decided to proceed with the game that day.

"The fatality happened, hey it was maybe let’s not try to rush this thing in. It happened right in front of the gates. 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."- he said.

In hindsight, Zalatoris suggested that a longer delay of four to five hours might have been more appropriate to allow the authorities to handle the situation properly. He emphasized the gravity of the incident, mentioning that a life was lost and expressing concern about the arrest of the World No. 1 player. Zalatoris stressed the chaotic nature of the golfing world at that moment, indicating that there was no sense of normality in such circumstances.

It's certain that such an incident created chaos among the players and everyone involved. Some of the players struggled to focus on the game after all the events of that day, but they had no other option but to step onto the golf course, try to forget about everything, and give their best. The atmosphere wasn't particularly positive, as expected. However, golf is a sport where sometimes you have to play regardless of the circumstances and ignore everything around you. These are the moments when the mental aspect of the game comes to the forefront.

Scottie Scheffler: What happened?

Scottie Scheffler spent a few hours in custody after his arrest, after which he returned and played his round. The American sent a message via social media, acknowledging his mistake. 

Scheffler described how everything looked from his perspective, emphasizing that the situation was chaotic due to the tragic accident that occurred. 

He pointed out that there was a misunderstanding between him and the police, which ultimately led to his detention. Scottie confirmed that he would need to quickly forget everything and focus on the game, even though it could be difficult. He also expressed condolences to the family and indicated that such situations change one's perspective on life.

Scottie Scheffler
Scottie Scheffler© Michael Reaves/Getty Images Sport

The PGA of America also expressed condolences to the family via social media, emphasizing that this is a huge tragedy and a heart-wrenching situation. Such situations are the last thing expected or desired by anyone. Despite everything, life goes on, and the golfers will have to forget about all this and focus on golf.

"This morning we were devastated to learn that a worker with one of our vendors was tragically struck and killed by a shuttle bus outside Valhalla Golf Club. This is heartbreaking to all of us involved with the PGA Championship. We extend our sincere condolences to their family and loved ones.”- PGA of America wrote.

The leaderboard situation is shaping up to be intriguing so far, with Xander Schauffele leading. We'll see if the brilliant American can maintain his momentum and win the PGA Championship. It will be a tough task, considering the quality golfers nipping at his heels.


1. -12 Schauffele (US), 

2. -11 Morikawa (US), 

3. -10 Theegala (US), 

4. -9 Scheffler (US), DeChambeau (US), Hubbard (US), Detry (Bel)