PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Matt Kuchar said on Wednesday evening in an interview with GOLF.com that he was "disappointed" and "saddened" by his $ 5,000 payment from his Mexican caddy David "El Tucan" Ortiz after last winning won $ 1.3 million November at the Mayakoba Golf Classic has led to such hurt feelings that have emerged from such a joyous storytelling.
"I somehow believe someone has come to his ear," Kuchar said. "I was very clear and very open on Tuesday [of the tournament week], And he said, "OK." He had the opportunity to earn up to $ 4,000 with rewards. "
Kuchar said he told Ortiz that he would pay him $ 1,000 if he missed the cut, $ 2,000 if he cut, $ 3,000 if he had a top-20, and $ 4,000 if he had one Top 10 would have. "The extra $ 1,000 said," Thanks – it was a great week. "These were the conditions, he agreed with these conditions, I have problems there, I do not know what happened, somebody must have said," They need a lot more. "
Ortiz described his salary as $ 3,000 for the week, with $ 2,000 as a down payment for the bonus.
Kuchar was wet and tired after a Pro-on-Wednesday round that lasted nearly five hours. He sat on a bench in the clubhouse in Riviera and quietly told him his side of the El Tucan affair for 20 minutes, without him having a trademark.
A winning tour caddy can expect to receive 10 percent of his winnings. In that case, that would have been $ 130,000. For a club caddy in a resort accustomed to earning $ 100 to $ 200 a day, that would be an enormous sum.
Ortiz said in a recent telephone interview that he received a cash envelope on Sunday night after the tournament. He did not count it until Kuchar left, he said. In an interview shortly after the November tournament, Ortiz said he was still expecting a bonus check for the win. He did not believe that he had been fully paid. Kuchar's point on Wednesday in Riviera was that he had already paid in his thoughts more than the agreed amount for Ortiz.
Kuchar described a local caddy he called a few years ago in Mexico City, called Santiago, and how he dines with him whenever he returns to Mexico City. "I was hoping to have the same kind of relationship with David," Kuchar said, "but it does not look like it's going to happen."
Ortiz said he would not be interested in working for Kuchar again, even though he described him as a "good man and a great player". About ten weeks after November 11, Ortiz received an additional $ 15,000 bonus, which he refused. In an interview, he said, "No, thanks. They can keep their money. "He said a $ 50,000 payment would have been reasonable.
Kuchar said it was always his intention to bring his normal man, the seasoned tour caddy John Wood, to Mayakoba. The idea that Ortiz would take part in the tournament, with Kuchar defending later this year, "would never be one," Kuchar said.
Kuchar seemed a little embarrassed that the extra sum had been offered as he considered his financial commitment to Ortiz complete. Asked how the extra sum was offered, Kuchar said, "That was the agency." He was referring to Excel Sports Management, which represents him. Kuchar's agent is Mark Steinberg, who also represents Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.
Kuchar was asked who would actually pay the money.
Kuchar smiled and said, "It does not come from Steinberg's bag." In other words, Kuchar would pay. He said the additional payment was Steinberg's effort to mitigate the damage.
I think if you ask changing rooms, they will tell you that they are happy to see me. I'm not a Phil Mickelson, but these guys are like "Matt's coming up to us."
"I think people know me well enough to know that I did not try to get away with anything, that's not how I operate," Kuchar said. He said some players were having trouble with him because of the caddy payment debacle, "like me." Kuchar is reputed to have let out the needle during the practice rounds and to talk to him.
Kuchar said he did not really understand why the wage dispute has become such an emotional issue. He said that a caddy payment of $ 5,000 on a payday of $ 1.3 million was frugal. He nodded, indicating that he had a different view.
"For a man who earns $ 200 a day, a $ 5,000 week is a really big week," he said.
"I try to see the bright side of everything," Kuchar said. "I hope he's happy, I hope things are really good in his life. I have to think, if he had the same opportunity to do it again, he would say, "Yes." He has a nice personality. It's easy to be with him. The photo of both of us with the trophy that will always hang on the wall in my office. "
There are players, whether or not they have a reputation for being frugal. And there are players at the other end of the spectrum. When asked where he falls into that spectrum, Kuchar said, "I think if you ask for change, they'll tell you they're happy to see me. I'm not a Phil Mickelson, but these guys are like "Matt's coming up to us."
"Maybe I missed the boat here. I somehow believe that I go there [to Mexico City] next week, and win, should I pay him $ 130,000? "
Kuchar, the $ 46 million player in tenth place on the all-time tour money list, has his own answer. He paid $ 5,000. Had he paid $ 50,000, you would read something else. Had he paid $ 130,000, he would be a legend in Mayakoba and Caddy Yards forever.
Michael Bamberger may be in reach [email protected]