Kuchar backtracks on Mayakoba caddie pay fiasco
The ever-present smile was, temporarily, nowhere in sight.
Yet popular American star Matt Kuchar stood his ground last weekend as he attempted to explain the extraordinary payment drama over the stand-in caddy he used in winning the recent Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Matt Kuchar holds the 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic trophy (Credit: PGA Tour)
The golf world has been abuzz after it was revealed Kuchar had paid Mexican caddie David ‘El Tucan’ Ortiz just $5000 after taking home $1.3m in winning the event.
Kuchar has been in damage control ever since and went to great pains to explain that he told Ortiz he would pay him $1,000 if he missed the cut, $2,000 if he made the cut, $3,000 if he had a top-20 and $4,000 if he had a top-10.
“The extra $1,000 was a ‘thank you — for a great week’,” he said.
“He was in agreement with those terms.”
“That’s where I struggle…I don’t know what happened. Someone must have said, ‘You need much more’.”
A winning US Tour caddie normally receives 10 per cent of a player’s winnings.
That would have meant about $130,000 for Kuchar’s stand-in caddie.
“This week I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse,” Kuchar said during the recent Genesis Open.
“They made it seem like I was marginalising David Ortiz and his financial situation, which was not my intention. I read them again and cringed.”
“That is not who I am and not what I want to represent.”
“In this situation I have not lived up to those values or to the expectations I’ve set for myself.
“I let myself, my family, my partners and those close to me down, but I also let David down.”
“I plan to call David, something that is long overdue, to apologise for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total that he has requested.”
Ortiz had reportedly asked for $50,000 for helping the Kuchar earn his first PGA Tour win in four years.
Kuchar added that he also planned to make a donation to the Mayakoba Classic, which will be used to fund charities in the Mexican cities of Playa del Carmen and Cancun.