Matt Kuchar has defended his decision to pay his caddie $5,000 after winning the Mayakoba Golf Classic last year.
The American has been under fire amid reports of a money dispute with his substitute caddie Giral “El Tucan” Ortiz following the tournament in Mexico last November surfaced.
Kuchar, who ended a four-year victory drought to take the title, said he and Ortiz agreed to a $3,000 payout for the week with a potential bonus that could total $4,000.
Caddies typically earn up to 10 per cent of tournament winnings, but Kuchar confirmed he paid Ortiz $5,000, as well as offering him an extra $15,000 – which he turned down.
Kuchar told the Golf Channel: “It’s kind of too bad that it’s turned into a story. 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 [Ortiz] 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 its turned into a story because it doesn’t need to be.”
Kuchar added: “It’s done. Listen, I feel like I was fair and good. You can’t make everybody happy. 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 $5,000 is a great week.”