Matt Kuchar said Wednesday that he doesn’t regret paying caddie David Giral Ortiz $5,000 from the $1.296 million he received for winning the Mayakoba Classic in November.
The amount has been criticized by some as being too small; caddie deals on the PGA Tour vary greatly, but there is often an extra amount thrown in for top-10 finishes and typically a 10 percent bonus for a win.
Kuchar confirmed to GolfChannel.com that he and Ortiz, his fill-in caddie that week in Mexico, originally agreed to a $3,000 fee for the week with a bonus amount that could up that total to $4,000. After the win, Kuchar confirmed he paid Ortiz $5,000 and also offered him an additional $15,000, which the caddie turned down.
“It’s done. Listen, I feel like I was fair and good,” Kuchar told GolfChannel.com. “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.”
Social media reports about the money dispute began surfacing last month when Kuchar was in contention — and eventually won — the Sony Open in Hawaii. They resurfaced this week when Golf.com published an interview with Ortiz in which he detailed his side of the story.
“Matt is a good person and a great player,” Ortiz, a regular caddie at the Mayakoba Resort near Cancun who says he can make up to $200 per day, told Golf.com. “He treated me very well. I am only disappointed by how it all finished.”
Kuchar, who is playing in this week’s Genesis Open, said he is disappointed the story has escalated the way it has.
“It’s kind of too bad that it’s turned into a story,” Kuchar said. “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 OK with, and I thought Sunday he was very much OK 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.”
ESPN’s Bob Harig contributed to this report.