Segundo Oliva Pinto said he called caddie Brant Brewer on Thursday night to forgive him after a mistake on the 18th hole that cost Pinto his round of 16 match in the U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes in Oregon.
"He was in tears, heartbroken about what happened," Pinto told ESPN on Friday. "I posted a picture on my Instagram saying it's not his fault, it could happen to anyone. He's not used to playing on the big stage in competitions, so he didn't know the rules."
As Pinto prepared for his shot from a greenside bunker with his match all square against Tyler Strafaci, Brewer entered the bunker and brushed the sand with his hands.
The incident was caught on camera, and Pinto was penalized for his caddie's actions, which cost him the hole and the match.
Pinto had no argument and said he had to accept the ruling and move on. He hadn't had a prior relationship with Brewer and said he was assigned to him for the event. Despite that, Pinto said he called Brewer later Thursday night to talk about what happened.
"I told him that if I can forgive him, everyone can forgive him, because I felt bad with the social burden on him with everyone posting on Twitter and Instagram," Pinto said.
"My thought was, 'I want to leave this place like a man,' and I think I did," Pinto said. "There's always something positive about the negative."
Although Pinto handled the loss with class, it doesn't take away the fact that he didn't get the chance to play out the match and possibly advance to the quarterfinals on his own merit.
"I'm heartbroken," Pinto said. "Some reporters in Argentina asked me what was my motivation to come here, I said, 'I'm not going to go there just to have a good time. I want to win. That's why I'm going. If not, I'm going to go home.' I felt like I was playing well, even though I had a long way to go. I felt like there was a good chance, but I guess we'll never know."
Pinto, who was playing a friendly round with a college teammate Friday, said he hopes to rectify the outcome with Strafaci at a later date.
"He's a really good player, we had a great match, that's all that matters," Pinto said. "We have to finish that one hole, though, and we'll do it at another location. I'm going to talk to him and try to get a rematch."