Matt Kuchar apologizes, agrees to pay Mayakoba Classic caddie 'El Tucan' full amount requested

I'm not sure this entire incident could have been handled any more poorly than it was, but Matt Kuchar released a statement on Friday indicating that he would pay his fill-in caddie David "El Tucan" Ortiz $50,000 for his work during the Mayakoba Golf Classic last fall.

Kuchar had come under severe scrutiny for paying Ortiz just $5,000 on a $1.3 million winning payout, and as recently as Wednesday he hadn't seemed at all contrite about the entire ordeal.

"So I certainly don't lose sleep over this," Kuchar told Will Gray of Golf Channel earlier this week. "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."

The story goes that Kuchar had agreed to pay Ortiz $1,000 for a missed cut, $2,000 for a made cut, $3,000 for a top 20 and $4,000 for a top 10. The extra $1,000 was a bonus. But Ortiz did not seemed pleased with the $5,000 payment as he recently emailed Kuchar's agent Mark Steinberg for more cash, as documented by Kuchar apparently offered him an extra $15,000 at some point, which Ortiz refused. Steinberg indicated to Ortiz that what was offered was "fair" and no more would be offered.

"I am a humble man, who takes care of his family, and works hard," Ortiz wrote. "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."

This email was apparently formulated by Ortiz and a buddy and sometimes-employer -- Marc Graubart -- who helped Ortiz understand the player-caddie arrangement on the PGA Tour, according to the New York Times. Regular caddies often get 10 percent of a player's earnings if he wins the tournament (which would have been $130,000). 

The request worked (eventually) as Kuchar ceded to public pressure on Friday (oh, and also did the right thing). Here's what Kuchar said in the statement.

This week I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse. They made it seem like I was marginalizing David Ortiz and his financial situation, which was not my intention. I read them again and cringed. That is not who I am and not what I want to represent.

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

A pause. According to, that amount is $50,000. 

For my fans, as well as fans of the game, I want to apologize to you for not representing the values instilled in this incredible sport. Golf is a game where we call penalties on ourselves. I should have done that long ago and not let this situation escalate.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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