General

Matt Kuchar’s Gets Dragged Again By Golf Media For Giving Caddie $5k After Winning $1.296 Million [UPDATE]

Early this week Matt Kuchar hired a local caddie.

His nickname is “El Tucan.”

Today they won @MayakobaGolf. 🏆#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/xavAnqM5qw

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 11, 2018

I’m not a golf etiquette expert like some on social media who keep track of such things, but one look at the golf experts on Twitter today will tell you that Matt Kuchar isn’t winning the PR war after it came out that he gave his caddie $5,000 after winning $1.296 million at the Mayakoba Golf Classic back in November. David “El Tucan” Ortiz was filling in as Kuchar’s caddie that day and he’s been under the impression that he deserves a 5% share of that purse.

Ortiz says he’s been offered more money by Kuchar’s management team, but he told them to shove it and now this has reached all the way to a story in Golf.com with Ortiz putting a few things on the table:

In a Jan. 24 email Ortiz sent to Mark Steinberg, Kuchar’s agent, the caddie wrote, “I am a humble man, who takes care of his family, and works hard. I am reaching out to you to see if you can facilitate me receiving a fair amount for my help with Matt winning $1,296,000. I am not looking to disparage Matt or give him a bad name. Fair is fair, and I feel like I was taken advantage of by placing my trust in Matt.”

Asked how he felt about the offer to receive what he said would be an additional and final $15,000 payment, Ortiz said, “No thank you. They can keep their money.”

Ortiz said he did not expect to be paid what a Tour caddie would have made, but said he believed his work and contribution toward the win was worth $50,000.

Now let’s go back to November when Kuchar won the tournament and had this to say about his local caddie who stepped in at the last minute. From Golf.com:

“[El Tucan is] definitely my lucky charm,” Kuchar said on Sunday night. “It was great having him with me. I feel like he brought me good luck, some extra crowd support, and did a great job as well. So he was great on the bag. Did just what I kind of was looking for and hoping for.”

C’mon KOOOOOOOOCH, you going to do the guy like this? You know $50k will change this guy’s life forever and you’ll spend that on private jets before The Masters. The guy had to pressure you to even get a $15,000 offer which is still insulting. Now you’re about to lose the PR battle — this isn’t going to be a good look for aww schucks Kuchar. You have to figure a sponsor steps in and makes this all go away, right? I can’t believe his team is calling Tucan’s bluff. Makes no sense at all. It’s not like he’s paying off a hooker here. You’re going to change this guy’s life and be an even bigger hero, yet here we are with a horrible story for Matt’s brand.

And now the golf media has turned on the Tour’s golden boy. Robert Lusetich, for one, has heard enough out of Team KOOOOOOOCH:

To put Kuchar’s cheapness in context, Cam Percy won $23,750 for finishing t-5 on Sunday and paid his caddie $2900. #Kuchar won $1.296 million and gave El Tucan $5,000. https://t.co/8wMANu71Wa

— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) February 12, 2019

Cheap is cheap. Kuchar plowed through agents until he found a home with Steinberg. No coincidence there. El Tucan’s asking for 5% which most Tour pros would pay readily. As you say, wouldn’t change Kuchar’s life in any way and would be a game changer for El Tucan https://t.co/j3MFhSgSfT

— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) February 12, 2019

The general guide for Tour caddies would be 5% of earnings when finishing outside the top 10, around 7% if in spots 2-10 and 10% for a win. A Tour caddie would have made about $130,000 on Kuchar’s bag. Tucan obviously doesn’t tour, so there’s not a pay off on his expenses.

— Ryan Ballengee (@RyanBallengee) February 12, 2019

Why not just pay the $50k? Not a great look for Kuchar. https://t.co/k83J1qPV0M

— Sean Fairholm, PGA (@FairwayFairholm) February 12, 2019

One predictable takeaway from the Matt Kuchar-caddie pay dispute: Mark Steinberg’s ability to defuse thorny public relations issues remains abysmal.

— Eamon Lynch (@eamonlynch) February 12, 2019

Update: A BC follower shares his own Matt Kuchar caddie story where Legal Hooks was just 16 & KOOOOOCH wasn’t such a nice guy:

The first day that we’re on the course, Bryce is going to play a practice round with Chez Reavie, Matt Kuchar, & a 4th who I can’t remember. I do everything I can to keep up and follow the lead of the professional caddies who were in the group with the other guys. 2/8

— Legal Hooks (@LegalHooks) February 12, 2019

Chez & the 4th guy in the group hand some free ice cream to their caddies. Matt turns to me and hands me what I thought was ice cream for me. I tell him thank you very much and start to open it. He yells at me to stop like I’m about to set off a bomb. 4/8

— Legal Hooks (@LegalHooks) February 12, 2019

After everyone hits & we start walking down 10 fairway, his caddy comes over and pats me on the back and offers me a granola bar that he had. It was obvious that Kuch always treated people like this. 6/8

— Legal Hooks (@LegalHooks) February 12, 2019

So, this is a long rant just to say that Kuch has always been a guy who demeaned and talked down to caddies. I’m sure he treats all “the help” like that. I’m glad the story about #ElTucan came out so that everyone can see it. 8/8

— Legal Hooks (@LegalHooks) February 12, 2019

And then I received this about Legal Hooks’ Kuchar story…is it possible we’ve all been fooled by Matt Kuchar?

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment