Matt Kuchar defends $5,000 caddie payment

Matt Kuchar

Under-fire Matt Kuchar says he ‘certainly doesn’t lose sleep’ over paying his caddie just $5,000 (0.38%) of his $1.296 million pay cheque from winning the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the American’s local caddie, David Ortiz – also known as ‘El Tucan’ – had anticipated earning $50,000 (3.85%) for his efforts in helping Kuchar land his first PGA Tour title in more than four years.

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He contacted Kuchar’s agent, Mark Steinberg, and was offered an additional $15,000 - largely thanks to assistance from a tournament official - taking the total to $20,000 (1.54%). However, Ortiz turned down what he deemed to be a derisory offer, saying: “They can keep their money.”

Kuchar, though, is standing by his payment after saying they originally agreed to a bonus structure that would have allowed Ortiz to make up to $4,000 for the week.

Matt Kuchar

“I ended up paying him $5,000 and I thought that was more than what we agreed upon,” Kuchar told Golf Channel. “I kind of think, if he had the chance to do it over again, same exact deal, that he’d say yes again. 

“It’s done. Listen, I feel like I was fair and good. You can’t make everybody happy. You’re not going to buy people’s ability to be OK 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.”

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It appears the American's only regret from the situation is, in fact, that it became as big a story as it did, which was largely down to former PGA Tour pro Tom Gillis calling him out on Twitter.

“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,” he added.

“I’ve done enough tournaments and had enough weekly caddies, and I’m very clear about what the payment will be. We had an arrangement Tuesday that David was OK with, and I thought Sunday he was very much OK 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."

Matt Kuchar :: Your thoughts

What do you make of this situation? Is Kuchar right, in that he paid over and above what they agreed at the start of the week? Or should El Tucan have got his $50,000? Let us know in the 'Comments' section below.

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