Brendan Steele’s fill-in caddie will be easy to spot this week at the Humana Challenge. He’s 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, built like a tank, and wearing a big pink cast on his wrist, the product of a recent motorcycle accident. And he’s also a member of the Los Angeles Police Department.
What happened to his regular looper? Steele says caddie Sam Pinfold was turned away at Los Angeles International Airport and sent back to his native New Zealand after officials questioned the working entitlements of his visa.
“Apparently there’s something to do with he’s not technically allowed to work for an American, I guess, on the visa that he has,” Steele explained this week at PGA West. “Which we didn’t know. So he can work for a foreigner in America, but he can’t work for an American.”
Steele said that the guards in immigration “treated (Pinfold) kind of like a criminal,” but he remains hopeful that the issue will be resolved soon.
In the meantime, Steele is relying on a few buddies to get him through the West Coast swing. This week he has called upon Will Farish, a former college teammate at UC-Riverside who now works for the LAPD.
“It should be fun having him out,” Steele said, “but we hope that Sam can get back as soon as possible.”