Rory McIlroy Jokes Jail Could Prevent Scheffler From Winning U.S. Open

Rory McIlroy joked that the only thing preventing Scottie Scheffler from winning this week’s U.S. Open might be another run-in with the law. 

Scheffler, the No. 1 golfer in the world, was arrested last month before his second round at the PGA Championship in an incident that stunned the sports world. Scheffler, 27, was eventually cleared of all charges. 

In the 13 tournaments Scheffler has played thus far during the 2024 season, he has won five and finished in the top 10 all but once. 

When asked about the most impressive part of Scheffler’s current streak, McIlroy, 35, joked, “The fact that the only thing that took him from winning a golf tournament was going into a jail cell for an hour.”

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Though Scheffler didn’t win the PGA Championship after being released from jail, he did manage to finish in a tie for 8th overall, one shot better than McIlroy, currently the No. 3 golfer in the world.

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Scottie Scheffler Louisville Department of Corrections/Getty Images

“A lot of stuff went on in his life, as well,” McIlroy said of Scheffler in his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday, June 11. “They just had a new child. He’s been through some struggles in his game, particularly the putter that he’s been able to turn around, as well. It’s not as if he hasn’t had his challenges along the way or circumstances haven’t been a bit different for him.”

McIlroy continued, “The word I describe it as is ‘relentless.’ It just seems like every time he shows up, he is the guy to beat and deservedly so.”

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Scottie Scheffler Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

At the moment, McIlroy argued, Scheffler is operating in a different stratosphere than the rest of the Tour. 

“[He’s] undoubtedly the best player in the world at the minute by a long way,” McIlroy said. “It’s up to us to try to get to his level.”

McIlroy will have that opportunity when the U.S. Open gets underway Thursday, June 13 at Pinehurst Country Club, as McIlroy, Scheffler and Xander Schauffele, the No. 2 ranked golfer in the world, are paired together for their opening rounds. 


As McIlroy explained, the blockbuster threesome provides a unique challenge.

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Rory McIlroy David Cannon/Getty Images

“If they’re playing well and I try to keep up with them, I guess it’s a good thing,” he said. “It’s always exciting to be a part of a marquee group like that.”

It’s been a noteworthy week for McIlroy off the course, as well. On Tuesday, June 11, he withdrew his divorce petition from Erica Stoll, his wife of seven years, after McIlroy previously filed divorce documents last month. 

In a statement to The Guardian, McIlroy said he and Stoll “have resolved our differences and look forward to a new beginning.”

The 124th U.S. Open begins Thursday, June 13 from Pinehurst Country Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina. McIlroy, Scheffler and Schauffele are scheduled to tee off at 1:14 p.m. ET.