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The former PGA Tour player who alleged that Matt Kuchar substantially underpaid a local caddie after winning the Mayakoba Classic late last year has doubled-down on his accusation.

Tom Gillis took to Twitter last weekend to claim that Kuchar paid David ‘El Tucan’ Ortiz only $3,000 out of the $1.3m cheque he banked after winning his eighth PGA Tour title in November.

Kuchar, who won the Sony Open on Sunday, immediately dismissed the furore as “not a story” and said “it wasn’t $3,000”.

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Now, Gillis has come back saying that he has been in contact with ‘El Tucan’… and he has reiterated his (slightly adjusted) claims.

In the interests of accuracy, it’s worth pointing out that Gillis has got it wrong with his calculation: 10% (the generally accepted going-rate for a caddie) of $1.3m is $130,000.

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If it was, indeed, $5,000 that Kuchar paid ‘El Tucan’, that would make his share of the cheque 0.38% – which is still some 26 times short of 10%.

Kuchar wasn’t asked about the controversy in his post-round press conference on Sunday and Ortiz has yet to comment publicly.


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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