Australian golfer Rhein Gibson has been caught in an ugly moment on US television after a caddie blunder cost him a chance at winning a Web.com Tour event in the Bahamas.
Trailing by one shot going into the par-5 72nd hole at the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic, Gibson hooked his second shot into a hazard.
But his caddie Brandon Davis picked up the ball while it was still in play before Gibson could reach it, incurring a one-shot penalty.
Instead of being able to take an unplayable lie and have a chance to chip in for birdie and force a play-off, Gibson took bogey and finished two strokes behind winner Adam Svensson.
Svensson closed with a four-under 68 for a 17-under par 271 - one shot ahead of second-placed South Korean Sung-jae Im.
Gibson was caught on Golf Channel cameras throwing the headcover of his putter at Davis and the incident drew the ire of golf fans on social media.
"It was just in the heat of the moment. I'm obviously playing well and I put myself in a great position, but when that happens it (could) cost me upwards of 15 or 18 thousands dollars," says Gibson.
"He walks in there gets my ball and costs me a penalty. At that point, I'm either trying to chip in or limit the damage and I made a good six (bogey).
"Instead, I'm outright third and that's a big difference when it boils down to it."
Gibson then posted on Twitter that his "actions were less then professional and I apologise to my caddy and those that took offence to my behaviors (sic)."
The reason for Gibson's frustration was the implications it could have for his season on the secondary Web.com Tour.
Had Gibson not incurred the penalty, he would have likely secured a par and finished tied for second.
The error cost Gibson an extra $US12,000 ($A15,000) in prizemoney, instead taking $US40,800 ($A50.500) for third place.
The top-25 money earners on the regular Web.com season are guaranteed a PGA Tour card for the following year, and the difference between 25th and 26th last year was $US6,379.
"Hopefully, at the end of the (season) it doesn't cost me a (PGA) Tour card," said Gibson, who is currently third on the moneylist.
"We're not playing for that much money out here."
Gibson said even before the incident he had only planned to have Davis on the bag for the first two weeks of the Web.com season in the Bahamas, before using a local caddie for the next three events in South America.