Matt Kuchar has apologised for paying Mayakoba Golf Classic caddie David Ortiz just $5,000 of his $1.296 million winnings from the event – and insists Ortiz will now receive the full amount requested of $50,000.
In a statement released through the PGA Tour last night, the American said he had let himself, his family and Ortiz down with his actions, and that he had also cringed when reading back comments he had made earlier this week for a Golf.com story.
He also said he has made a donation back to the event as a result of any negative PR it may have caused.
Get fully caught up on 'Caddie-gate'
Here is Kuchar’s 243-word statement in full:
“This week, I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse. 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. This is not who I am and not what I want to represent.
Statement from Matt Kuchar pic.twitter.com/fZWsK8RjzE— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) February 15, 2019
“My entire tour career, I have tried to show respect and positivity. In this situation, I have not lived up to those values of 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 tonight, 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.
“I never wanted to bring any negativity to the Mayakoba Golf Classic. I feel it is my duty to represent the tournament well, so I am making a donation back to the event, to be distributed to the many philanthropic causes working to positively impact the communities of Playa del Carmen and Cancun.
“For my fans, as well as fans of the game, I want to apologise to you for not representing the values instilled in this incredible sport. Golf is a game where we call penalties on ourselves. I should have done that long ago and not let this situation escalate.”
Kuchar was subjected to a lot of heckling from the galleries during the opening rounds of the Genesis Open, which you can read more about here.
Could it have been that which triggered the remarkable climbdown from the American and made him realise just how poorly both he and his management team had dealt with the issue? It's surely likely to have played a part.
“Go low Kuch, go low! Just not on the gratuity!" -- fan after Kuchar's shot on the 6th tee— Brian Wacker (@brianwacker1) February 15, 2019
Kuchar is currently T34 at Riviera CC. He played 13 holes of his second round before the horn blew and play was suspended for the day at the weather-affected tournament.
Matt Kuchar :: Your thoughts
How do you feel about Kuch now this episode is over? Is it time to move on? Or will this story tarnish your opinion of the American going forward?