Kuchar apologises to caddie over pay dispute

Matt Kuchar in action during a tee shot. (Reuters pic)

CALIFORNIA: Matt Kuchar apologised to caddie David Ortiz on Friday and said he will pay him the amount he asked for after Ortiz criticised the golfer for giving him only US$5,000 of the nearly US$1.3 million he earned by winning the Mayakoba Classic in November.

Earlier this week Kuchar shrugged off the outcry over the payment and said Ortiz, who had stepped in as an emergency replacement, should be “happy” with the pay, despite regular caddies earning payouts of up to 10% of a player’s take from a tournament.

“For a guy who makes US$200 a day, a US$5,000 week is a really big week,” he told Golf.com on Wednesday in comments he says now make him “cringe.”

“This week, I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse,” Kuchar, who has won more than US$46 million over the course of his career according to ESPN, said in a statement on Friday.

“They made it seem like I was marginalising David Ortiz and his financial situation, which was not my intention,” he said.

“I let myself, my family, my partners and those close to me down, but I also let David down.

“I plan to call to call David tonight, something that is long overdue, to apologise for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total he has requested.”

Ortiz had reportedly sought US$50,000 for helping the 40-year-old earn his first PGA Tour victory in four years.

Kuchar added that he planned to make a donation to the Mayakoba Classic to be distributed to philanthropic causes in the Mexican cities of Playa del Carmen and Cancun.