Home News Kuchar’s Mexican Caddie Says He Was Paid $5,000

Kuchar’s Mexican Caddie Says He Was Paid $5,000

Matt Kuchar fist bumping his fill-in caddie Tucan at the Mayakoba Golf Classic

The following article was first published by Golf Monthly.

Kuchar’s caddie says he was paid $5,000

Matt Kuchar was recently embroiled in controversy after reports surfaced that he had paid his stand-in caddie just $3,000 following his Mayakoba Golf Classic win in November.

At the time, Kuchar admitted that he hadn’t paid him the usual 10% a Tour caddie would get when their player wins, but did say that it wasn’t $3,000 that he paid his bagman for the week.

David ‘Girol’ Ortiz, known as ‘Tucan’, stood in for Kuchar’s regular caddie at the Mayakoba and has now spoken out, saying that he got paid $5,000 from Kuch.

He revealed that Kuchar gave him an envelope with the $5,000 cash in after the tournament.

Tucan refuses extra money from Kuchar

In an interview with Golf.com’s Michael Bamberger, Tucan said that Kuchar offered him an extra $15,000 but he declined.

“No thank you. They can keep their money,” he said.

He also said that he hoped he would earn anything up to $130,000 for the week and that he won’t be caddying for him at next year’s tournament.

David Ortiz, Matt Kuchar's fill-in caddie for the Mayakoba Golf Classic, answers question at a media scrum after the victory

Kuchar’s camp claims it was fair

Tucan used Google Translate to email Kuchar’s agent Mark Steinberg, saying “I am a humble man, who takes care of his family, and works hard.

“I am reaching out to you to see if you can facilitate me receiving a fair amount for my help with Matt winning $1,296,000. I am not looking to disparage Matt or give him a bad name. Fair is fair, and I feel like I was taken advantage of by placing my trust in Matt.”

Tucan said that he didn’t expect the full $130,000 10% fee but did expect around $50,000 for his contribution to the victory.

Steinberg sent an email to the caddie saying, “I am out of the country. What Matt has offered is fair.”

Tucan said via translate, “Matt is a good person and a great player. He treated me very well. I am only disappointed by how it all finished.”

Kuchar will need to find another caddie for next year

At the time, Ortiz wanted to return as Kuchar’s caddie for the 2019 tournament to see if the pair could defend the title.

He has now changed his mind. “No thank you. I’m a little bit pissed, a little bit confused,” he said.

Steinberg emailed Golf.com this week saying, “The “reports on what Matt’s caddie was offered are wildly inaccurate. However, it is inappropriate to discuss those amounts publicly.”

Matt Kuchar is a 10-time PGA Tour winner with career earnings of $46.6m.

Kuchar’s response

Matt Kuchar was quick to deny the rumors about him skimping out on paying his bag man for the tournament. “That’s not a story. It wasn’t 10%, it wasn’t $3,000. It’s not a story.”

Okay, now we have a great example of he said-she said. Who are you gonna believe? Whose side are you going to take? I have to side with the caddie on this one, especially with the extra commentary from others around the game.

Kuchar’s reputation

Matt Kuchar smiling

Cameron Percy, a player on the Web.com Tour, suggested that the cheap tip from Kuchar is probably legit. “It’s not out of character if it’s true”, tweeted Percy. Wow, well that says a lot, hinting that Matt tends to cheap out on rewarding the people around him who help him succeed.

The fact that Kuchar looks cheap kind of makes sense. The guy could definitely be a dentist instead of a golfer from the way he looks. The shoes, the awkwardly nice demeanor, the smile. We all know how much dentists love to take your money. Wouldn’t surprise me if he cheaped out on Tucan the same way.

Finally an apology… and a paycheck

Matt Kuchar finally apologized this past week for not paying his caddie what he deserved.

This week, I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse. They made it seem like I was marginalizing 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. My entire Tour career, I have tried to show respect and positivity. 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 apologize for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total that he has requested.

It’s about time Kuch. Hopefully this will teach him a lesson on slighting others around him who help him during his career.

 

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