LAPD officer subs as Brendan Steele's caddie
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) - Brendan Steele turned to former UC Riverside teammate Will Farish for help at the Humana Challenge after caddie Sam Pinfold ran into visa problems.
Farish is a Los Angeles Police Department officer.
''He will be easy to spot, because he's 6-4, 225, and he just laid down his motorcycle, so he has a broken wrist and a big pink cast,'' Steele said. ''It should be fun having him out, but we hope that Sam can get back as soon as possible.''
Pinfold was unable to get back into the United States on Sunday night after a few months in his native New Zealand.
''He came back to LAX, and they wouldn't let him through immigration,'' Steele said. ''They treated him kind of like a criminal and turned him around with two guards that made sure that he got on his plane straight back to New Zealand. We have got to try to get him sorted out, so he can get back here as soon as possible.
''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. Which we didn't know. So he can work for a foreigner in America, but he can't work for an American.''
Steele grew up about 25 miles northwest of La Quinta in the mountain town of Idyllwild.
''I used to play desert junior golf and we would come down to this event and get to see the big boys hit it around,'' Steele said. ''I have a lot of fond memories of walking around here with my brother and my dad and getting autographs from my favorite players.''
FOOTBALL FAN: Keegan Bradley was disappointed to learn that his beloved New England Patriots will face Denver at noon La Quinta time Sunday in the NFC championship game.
''Wow, does it start at 12? That's a bummer. I was hoping that it was going to be like a later game,'' Bradley said. ''The fans do a really good job of kind of letting me know throughout the day. I'll send a tweet out before I play to shout out the scores to me as I go around. People will do a good job doing that.''
FITNESS FANATIC: Why did 78-year-old Gary Player do 1,300 crunches with a 50-pound weight on his chest Wednesday? Because his hotel gym didn't have a 100-pound weight.
''How do you ever explain to anybody about health until you lose it?'' said Player, the Hall of Fame player who serves as ambassador for tournament sponsor Humana. ''The most cherished thing you have in your life is your health and your life.''
ICING ON THE CAKE: Defending champion Brian Gay was quick to note that wife Kimberly was responsible for the victory cake in the media center.
''The cake's really my wife's doing, of course,'' Gay said. ''I wouldn't really think about doing a cake for you guys. I'm not quite as nice as she is.''
DIVOTS: Ricky Barnes received a sponsor exemption Wednesday to the Phoenix Open. The former University of Arizona player won the 2002 U.S. Amateur. He lives in the Phoenix area. Joe Ogilvie also got a spot Wednesday in the Jan. 30-Feb. 2 event at TPC Scottsdale. ... Former Alabama star Justin Thomas is making his third tour start as a professional. He tied for 72nd in the Frys.com Open and missed the cut in the McGladrey Classic.