Matt Kuchar is one of the most popular golfers among his peers on the PGA Tour. And up until a couple of months ago, you could make the argument he was one of the most well-thought-of players by fans too.
Then, Mexico happened.
In November, "Kooch" competed in the Mayakoba Golf Classic, south of the border. His regular caddy (John Wood) didn't/couldn't make the trip, so Matt employed the services of one, David “El Tucan” Ortiz, a local caddy.
And then he won.
He won $1.3 MILLION (not Pesos, kids, American Dinero).
El Tucan must have thought he won the lottery. You see standard caddy fees on the PGA Tour are: 5-7% for a made cut, 10% for a top 10 finish, and somewhere between 10-15% for a win.
Last time I checked, $130,000 would make some ends meet in Mexico.
Ortiz made $5,000.
Kuchar's argument is the following, "I was very clear and very upfront on Tuesday [of the tournament week]. And he said, ‘OK.’ He had the ability, with bonuses, to make up to $4,000.”
Kuchar said he told Ortiz he would pay him $1,000 if he missed the cut, $2,000 if he made the cut, $3,000 if he had a top-20 and $4,000 if he had a top-10. “The extra $1,000 was, ‘Thank you — it was a great week.’"
It is because of this that Matt has said this week he remains perplexed by Ortiz's hurt feelings-played out in the media-over his perceived lack of compensation
Okay, I get that. And it all sounds good on Tuesday. BUT...on Sunday, after you win $1.3 million? Should it not occur to you that, "WOW, I'm gonna look REALLY cheap here?"
To quote Caddyshack's Carl Spackler (Bill Murray), "Hey Lama...how 'bout a little something, you know, for the effort?"
The longer Kuchar lets this go on, the worse he and his fellow tour players (who already have a reputation as selfish, spoiled rich kids-all grown up) are going to look.
Kuchar tees it up at The Gensis Open at historic Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles this week.