LANCASTER, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - World number 10 Kim Sei-young’s caddie was booted from the U.S. Women’s Open on Tuesday after he was found in the USGA rules office improperly taking photos of course setup documents, officials said.
Veteran caddie Paul Fusco was escorted off the property by USGA security at Lancaster Country Club and will not be allowed to caddie for South Korea’s Kim at this week’s major.
“He was in a USGA office taking photos of internal USGA course setup documents and was discovered by a USGA official,” spokesperson Christina Lance told Reuters.
“It was information that is not available to all players until the day of the tournament.”
Fellow caddie Dean Herden said he had talked to Fusco on the phone about the incident and was “disgusted” by the USGA’s banishment of the caddie.
“He told me he went to the office to check on things and get some information,” Herden told Reuters. “On the wall of the office he noticed the pin locations on the wall.
“On the LPGA Tour it’s common knowledge we get the pins given to us the night before. Just as Paul took a quick photo of it, a gentleman came in and asked what are you doing? He said: ‘I took a photo of the pins.’
“The man said you’re not allowed to do that.”
Herden said Fusco was asked to delete the pictures from his phone and he did so in front of the official, then introduced himself and after a short chat headed to the driving range.
“About an hour later a gentleman for the USGA with a security guard walked to the driving range and there in front of Kim requested his caddie credentials and to leave the property — on the spot, on the driving range,” said Herden.
“No class, absolutely no class at all, in front of his boss,” added Herden. “It’s disgusting the way that they’re treating him.”
Herden said the USGA should rethink their own practice about pin locations.
“The rule itself should be changed,” Herden said. “Why is the morning group disadvantaged to an afternoon group, who have all morning to look at the pins?”
Kim was making arrangements to have Steve “Rubble” Shellard caddie for her during the July 9-12 championship.
Shellard, who lives nearby, is the regular caddie for tour veteran Pak Se-ri, who withdrew last week because of injury.
Editing by Frank Pingue