U.S. Am player makes heart-warming gesture towards caddie after his costly rules mistake

Segundo Oliva Pinto (right) is standing by his bagman, Brant Brewer, after Brewer's rules gaffe cost Oliva Pinto a loss in his Round of 16 match.

(Instagram)

Mistakes happen. Sometimes, those mistakes don’t cost you. Other times, they can make a huge impact. Thursday at the 2020 U.S. Amateur was one of those times.

Coming into the 18th hole of his Round of 16 match tied with his opponent, Tyler Strafaci, Segundo Oliva Pinto was preparing to hit a shot from a bunker when his caddie appeared to touch the sand with his hands.

The caddie maintains he didn’t touch the sand, but a video replay of the incident showed that he did in fact touch the sand, and the rules officials deemed that in doing so, he had violated rule 12.1, and the penalty for Oliva Pinto was a loss of the hole. In this case, that also meant a loss of the match.

It was an unfortunate situation for all involved, but there is good news: Oliva Pinto’s classy handling of the incident.

It started in his post round interview, when Pinto didn’t put any of the blame on his caddie:

“It doesn’t really matter,” he said. “What happened happened.”

Then, later that night, Oliva Pinto took to Instagram and once again leapt to his caddy’s defense, calling him a “good guy” and writing that the situation “can happen to anyone,” capping it off with the hashtag “#noonesfault.”

Oliva comes to his caddy’s defense.

(INSTAGRAM)

Olivia Pinto handled what is undoubtedly a difficult situation with great sportsmanship, and in doing so, demonstrated the true spirit of the the game.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.