After battling for 17 holes in the Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur, golfer Segundo Oliva Pinto saw his second shot land in a bunker on the 18th hole. That’s where his bid for the most prestigious amateur title in golf would end.
Tied with Tyler Strafaci going into the final hole at Bandon Dunes, Oliva Pinto ended up automatically losing the 18th hole when his caddie made the grave error of hopping into the bunker and touching the sand, apparently to test its texture.
As it turns out, you can’t do that.
U.S. Amateur golfer loses in brutal fashion
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) August 14, 2020
Specifically, Oliva Pinto’s caddie violated this part of Rule 12.2 in the USGA rulebook:
b. Restrictions on Touching Sand in Bunker
Before making a stroke at your ball in a bunker, you must not:
Deliberately touch sand in the bunker with your hand, a club or rake or any other object to test the condition of the sand and learn information for your next stroke
Not much wiggle room there. Oliva Pinto’s caddie was clearly touching the sand, though he would later deny what was clearly caught on camera. That was all it took to put Strafaci 1-up and hand him the win.
The golfer who lost by his caddie’s own hand was stunned after it happened.
“I ask my caddie what happened, and I’m completely shocked,” Pinto said, according to Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner I’m just trying to make an up-and-down and win the match.”
At stake at the U.S. Amateur is an invitation to the following U.S. Open, Masters and British Open, so the loss here is not insignificant for Oliva Pinto, who currently plays for Arkansas.
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