Jan 14th, 2019
Did Matt Kuchar stiff his caddie after Mexico win?
Questions arise as he bags second win of the season in Hawaii
Matt Kuchar gets his second win of the season in Hawaii but has had to defend himself this week over allegatons that he paid his caddie just $3,000.00 after winnning the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico last November. That despite Kuchar ending his 89 tournament winless streak by winning the tournament and walking away with a reported $1.296million.
Local caddie David Girl Ortiz, known as El Tucan, took Kuchar's bag in Mexico because Kuchar's usual bagman John Wood was at a reunion. Wood must have wondered if there was any justice as Kuchar shot -22 for a one stroke win without him, meaning that he would not be receiving his 10%, a chunky $190,000.00.
You don't know who to feel more sorry for, Wood or Ortiz, with the rumour mill suggesting that Kuchar paid El Tucan a measly £3,000.00. With Kuchar leading in Hawaii this weekend, former PGA player Tom Gillis brought the situation into the open on social media this weekend.
"If Kuchar wins this weekend," tweeted Gillis, "let's hope he pays his man more than ($3,000) like the last win. ($45 million) in (career) earnings. Could've changed the man's life."
Kuchar denies it was that low but wasn't giving any more details when questioned in Honolulu, as he was leading the Sony Open.
"That's not a story," says Kuchar. "It wasn't 10 percent, it wasn't $3,000. It's not a story. We had an agreement to start the week. He was excited to go to work that week. He was definitely my lucky charm. He brought me good luck and certainly some extra crowd support and did a great job as well. He did just what I was hoping for and looking for."
El Tucan told reporters he was unlikely to work on the PGA tour, not wanting to move from his two young kids. But he hoped to invest his winnings into a business. Whether that is $3,000.00 or $190,000.00 we will probably never know.
On the final day of the Mexico tournament, El Tucan - an 8-handicapper who doesn't speak much English - told Kuchar: "You need to calm down.(Americans) caddie more technically. I caddie more by intuition".
When Kuchar gave him the trophy to hold, El Tucan cried. The next day he took the bus to work as per usual, working at the course while tournament people attended an event.
The 40-year-old Ortiz hasn't commented on his pay for helping Kuchar break an 89 tournament drought.
And another thing!