Matt Kuchar, under fire for paying caddie David Giral Ortiz $5,000 from the $1.296 million check he cashed for winning the Mayakoba Classic in November, said Wednesday that he hasn’t lost any sleep over the controversy.
Kuchar broke a four-year drought with his win in Mexico, and he did so without his usual caddie. Ortiz, a local caddie, filled in on Kuchar’s bag for the one-stroke victory.
Ortiz told Golf.com that the pair agreed on a $3,000 payment for the week at the start of tournament, plus an unspecified percentage of his winnings. A Tour caddie typically receives 10 percent ($129,600 in this case) of a player’s winnings in the event of a win through these handshake deals.
Ortiz, with the assistance of Google Translate, emailed Kuchar’s agent in January requesting a $45,000 bonus. When the caddie was offered $15,000, he refused.
“No thank you,” Ortiz said. “They can keep their money.”
Kuchar told GolfChannel.com that he does not regret his payment to Ortiz.
“It’s done. Listen, I feel like I was fair and good,” Kuchar said. “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.”
Kuchar noted he didn’t think the incident was a story because he had an agreement with Ortiz before the tournament began.
“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,” Kuchar said. “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.”
Kuchar currently stands in 10th place on the all-time PGA Tour money list with over $46 million in winnings.