Matt Kuchar defends his $5,000 payment for local caddie
American has taken some heat for payment after winning $1.3million in Mexican event
Matt Kuchar said he doesn’t know why it has become a story after he paid a local Mexican caddie $5,000 when he won the Mayakoba Classic. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Matt Kuchar has defended his decision to pay a temporary caddie $5,000 following his victory in the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Kuchar – who has earned $46million in on-course winnings – ended a four-year winless drought in November with local caddie David “El Tucan” Ortiz on the bag in place of his regular caddie John Wood.
The world number 22 collected a winner’s cheque for $1.3million, of which caddies can usually expect to receive up to 10 per cent depending on their arrangement with the player.
However, Kuchar has confirmed that he paid Ortiz $5,000 and that he subsequently offered an additional $15,000, which Ortiz refused, after the story became public.
“It’s kind of too bad that it’s turned into a story. I really didn’t think it was a story because we had an arrangement when I started,” Kuchar told GolfChannel.com.
“I’ve done enough tournaments and had enough weekly caddies and I’m very clear about what the payment will be. And we had an arrangement Tuesday that David was okay with, and I thought Sunday he was very much okay with it.
“I kind of feel like unfortunately some other people have got it in his head that he’s deserving something different than what we agreed upon. And it’s just too bad that it’s turned into a story, because it doesn’t need to be. We had a great week.”
According to Kuchar, he and Ortiz originally agreed to a bonus structure which would have allowed Ortiz to make up to $4,000 for the week.
“I ended up paying him $5,000 and I thought that was more than what we agreed upon,” added Kuchar, who has been criticised on social media for his decision.
“I kind of think if he had the chance to do it over again, same exact deal, that he’d say ‘yes’ again.
“You’re not going to buy people’s ability to be okay with you, and this seems to be a social media issue more than anything. I think it shouldn’t be, knowing that there was a complete, agreed-upon deal that not only did I meet, but exceeded.
“So I certainly don’t lose sleep over this. This is something that I’m quite happy with, and I was really happy for him to have a great week and make a good sum of money. Making $5,000 is a great week.”