Matt Kuchar will pay up after all.
Kuchar, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, had come under fire this week after it was learned that he paid a fill-in caddie just $5,000 after winning the Mayakoba Classic and a $1,296,000 purse in November.
On Friday, he apologized after his first round at the Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, Calif. He issued a statement in which he said he will pay caddie David Giral Ortiz the $50,000 he sought. He also will make a donation to the Mayakoba Classic charities.
Statement from Matt Kuchar pic.twitter.com/fZWsK8RjzE
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) February 15, 2019
“This week, I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse,’’ he said in the statement. “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. In this situation, I have not lived up to those values or to the expectations I’ve set for myself.’’
Earlier in the week, Kuchar revealed that he and Oritz had worked out a deal prior to the tournament in November. Kuchar’s regular caddie had a previous commitment, so he enlisted Ortiz, a local caddie.
Ortiz was to get $3,000 for the week, which would increase to $4,000 if Kuchar got his first PGA Tour win in nearly five years. When he topped the field, he rounded it up to $5,000.
Kuchar later offered to pay Ortiz an additional $15,000, but the caddie turned it down, believing he should get another $45,000.