Matt Kuchar defends $5k fee to caddie for Mayakoba victory
'I was really happy for him to make a good sum of money. Making $5,000 is a great week'
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 14/02/19 5:33pm
Matt Kuchar has defended his decision to only pay a temporary caddie $5,000 (£3,900) after his victory at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Kuchar claimed a one-shot win in Mexico to end a four-year winless run on the PGA Tour, where he had local caddie David "El Tucan" Ortiz on the bag in place of regular caddie John Wood.
The American confirmed that he paid Ortiz $5,000 for the victory, whereas caddies often received up to 10 per cent of tournament winnings depending on what they agreed with the player.
Kuchar said that he agreed a bonus structure with Ortiz that could earn the caddie up to $4,000 for the event, before later paying him extra after claiming the winner's cheque of $1.3million.
"It's kind of too bad that it's turned into a story," Kuchar told Golf Channel. "I really didn't think it was a story because we had an arrangement when I started.
"I've done enough tournaments and had enough weekly caddies and I'm very clear about what the payment will be. And we had an arrangement Tuesday that David was okay with, and I thought Sunday he was very much okay with it.
"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. 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 offered Ortiz an extra $15,000, which was refused, when the story became public, with the world No 22 since criticised on social media for his decision.
"I ended up paying him USD 5,000 and I thought that was more than what we agreed upon," added Kuchar. "I kind of think if he had the chance to do it over again, same exact deal, that he'd say 'yes' again.
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"You're not going to buy people's ability to be okay 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 USD 5,000 is a great week."