Segundo Oliva Pinto was tied with Tyler Strafaci entering the 18th hole in their round of 16 U.S. Amateur match at Bandon Dunes in Bandon, Oregon on Thursday. However, before Pinto even finished the hole, he lost the match. Pinto had hit his ball into a bunker and entered the area in order to check out where the ball was lying. While he was doing so, Pinto’s caddie bent down and touched the sand several times with his hand.
With that action, the caddie violated USGA’s Rule 12.2b, which states that there are restrictions regarding touching the sand in a bunker, according to ESPN. A player can’t “deliberately touch sand in the bunker with his or her hand, a club or rake or any other object in an effort to test the condition of the surface to obtain information for the next stroke.” In addition, USGA’s Rule 10.3c also states that the golfer is responsible for his caddie’s actions even though the golfer wasn’t directly involved.
The caddie claimed that he didn’t touch the sand following the incident, but the TV cameras caught him in the act:
Pinto was not thrilled with what happened.
“He didn’t say anything,” Pinto told the Golf Channel regarding his caddie. “But at this point it doesn’t really matter. What happened, happened. He can say anything, but it won’t change what happened.”
Because the rules were clearly broken, Pinto ended up losing the hole and, in turn, the match.