'Keep your money': Short-changed caddie says no to increased payday from Matt Kuchar

 nzherald.co.nz  02/13/2019 17:20:38 

A caddie who was short-changed by American golfer Matt Kuchar after he won a tournament last year has reportedly turned down an offer for more money from the world number 34.

Last month Kuchar was accused of short-changing local caddie David Girl Ortiz, known as El Tucan, who helped him break a four-year winless streak when he took his bag for the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico.

Kuchar needed the ring-in as his regular bagman John Wood was at a reunion.

It did the trick, with 22-under Kuchar winning the title by one stroke over Kiwi Danny Lee - for a winner's cheque of US$1.296 million ($1.9 million).

Former PGA player Tom Gillis brought the situation into the open on social media when Kuchar was leading the Sony Open in Hawaii last month.

Gillis tweeted: "If Kuchar wins this weekend let's hope he pays his man more than ($3,000) like the last win. ($45 million) in (career) earnings. Could've changed the man's life."

On the general 10 per cent rule, El Tucan was due about $190,000, although those in the know say that a local caddie would not usually be paid that percentage.

Kuchar, a former world number four, denied it was that low but wasn't giving any more details when questioned last month.

Kuchar said: "That's not a story. It wasn't 10 percent, it wasn't $3,000. It's not a story. We had an agreement to start the week. He was excited to go to work that week."

According the golf.com, Kuchar paid Ortiz $5000 but after reports hit the media he offered to increase the payday by an extra $15,000.

The Mexican turned him down. "No thank you. They can keep their money," he told golf.com.

"Matt is a good person and a great player. He treated me very well. I am only disappointed by how it all finished," he added.

Ortiz said he spent the $5000 on painting his house, new curtains, a mirror and flying his daughter home for Christmas.

"He was definitely my lucky charm," Kuchar said after winning the tournament.

"He brought me good luck and certainly some extra crowd support and did a great job as well. He did just what I was hoping for and looking for."

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