Tyler Strafaci moves on in US Amateur and he has the caddy for his opponent to thank.
Strafaci, a Georgia Tech star, was all square with Argentina’s Segundo Oliva Pinto going into the 18th hole of their round of 16 games Thursday at Bandon Dunes in Bandon, Oregon.
Pinto hit his approach on the last hole in a green bunker, which he went in to check the ball’s lie before finishing to get a better look at the green. While doing so, his caddy stepped into the bunker, leaning down and brushing the sand several times with his hand.
This violated USGA Rule 12.2b, which outlines restrictions on touching the sand in a bunker and notes that a player may not “intentionally 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. “
Rule 10.3c states that a player is responsible for the actions of his caddy.
The caddy, reportedly a local looper named Brant Brewer, denied touching the sand afterwards, but the video clearly showed otherwise.
It all came down to the 18th hole.
And then this happened.
The result? A 1-win for Tyler Strafaci. #USAmateur pic.twitter.com/JFJcoSKfFQ
– Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) August 14, 2020
The rules violation cost Pinto the hole, and thus the fight.
Afterwards, Pinto said he was shocked when he was summoned by the official rules and informed of what happened. Asked if his caddy explained to him what happened, Pinto told Golf Channel: “He did not say anything. But at this point it does not really matter. What happened happened, he can say anything, but it will not change. say what happened. “
Strafaci’s 1-up win moved him into the quarterfinals, where he takes Stewart Hagestad, the 2016 American mid-amateur champion from Newport Beach, California, who beat Harrison Ott 4 and 3 in the round of 16. The 29-year-old Hagestad is trying to go from 15th to the top seven in the World Amateur Golf Ranking to get a US Open exemption. He is also pushing to field a third U.S. Walker Cup team in a row.
In the second upper bracket quarterfinal, Aman Gupta faces Michael Thorbjornsen. In the round of 16, Gupta Sam Bennett beat 5 and 3, and Thorbjornsen edged Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira 3 and 2. In the bottom bracket, Philip Barbaree plays Matthew Sharpstene, and Cameron Sisk meets Charles Osborne.
In the round of 16, Barbaree beat William Mouw 3 and 1, Sharpstene topped Davis Chatfield 4 and 3, Sisk beat Davis Lamb 5 and 3, and Osborne led Carson Lundell 7 and 5.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.