Matt Kuchar

USA Today

Come On, Kuchar

You had a great week and now you’ve ruined it.

February 14, 2019 - 11:49 am
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Let me start this next take by saying that there is a story that I’m aware of and I don’t need you to tell me about it. I am aware that a certain CFL team has signed a certain player. I don’t need you to tell me about it. First off, while this show is broadcast in Canada, I don’t usually talk CFL. And I certainly don’t devote a whole take to the signing of a defensive lineman by the name of Cory Johnson.

I know that Toronto is revamping their defensive line, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get into this story. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about or why I’m not going to talk about it, good. Let’s keep it that way. Just don’t google his nickname and come running back to me about how hilarious it is. Unless you’re in first grade.

What I will talk about is another one of your favorite topics: it’s a certain list that allegedly includes guys like Scottie Pippen, Pete Sampras, and Tiger Woods. Under normal circumstances, anyone would be proud to be mentioned in their company. One of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time. The man formerly recognized as the greatest tennis player of all time. And the man who could’ve been the greatest golfer of all time? That’s great company, right? Wrong.  

Except in addition to being legends in their sports, they are also famous for allegedly being greedy. And now, if reports are true, you can add another name to that list: 

Matthew Gregory Kuchar.

Matt Kuchar is a very good golfer. And Matt Kuchar is getting a lot of bad press right now for a very good reason.

Let’s set the stage. Back in November, Kuchar won a tournament in Mexico. It was his first win in four years and he did it with a local caddie, David Ortiz, instead of his regular caddie, John Wood. 

The win was huge for Kuchar because it earned him $1.3 million. And here’s where it gets interesting. The usual deal is that a player gives the caddie 5% of the winnings as a bonus, a higher percentage for a top ten finish, and 10% for a win.

So getting out my calculator, Ortiz could be looking at something in the neighborhood of 130 grand. But knowing how badly Kuchar wanted that win, you’ve got to assume he hooked up the guy who helped him get it. So how much did he pay Ortiz? 

Drumroll please….$5,000. 

WHAT?

You just won 1.3 mill and you paid your caddie 5 grand?

Not only that, but Ortiz told Golf dot com that after he and Kuchar posed for photos following the win, Matt handed him an envelope with cash and said, “There you go. Thank you. Bye.”

After the story hit social media and generated steam, Ortiz said he was offered an extra 15 grand by Kuchar and his reps, but he turned it down because he feels he’s owed more. Hell yes he is. 

For context, Ortiz isn’t saying he wants the normal Tour rate. He’s looking for 50 grand total. That’s a still a bargain for Kuchar’s first win in four years.

Kuchar, for his part, claims that their deal was $3,000 for the week with a bonus that could bump it up to $4,000. And that by giving him $5,000, he was exceeding the deal and that offering an extra 15 was really generous.

And here’s a little more context. According to Golf dot com: “Ortiz lives in a small cinderblock house that is a 20-minute bus ride to the course. He said with a more substantial payment, he and his common-law wife had hoped to start a laundromat. As for the $5,000 he made, Ortiz said most of it had been spent on painting the house, buying new curtains and a mirror for it and flying his young daughter home from Veracruz, Mexico, for Christmas.

Matt Kuchar, on the other hand, has more than 46 million in career earnings and is 10th all-time on the career money list. And right now, he’s barreling past Pistol Pete and No Tippen Pippen on the all-time stingy list.  

Was Ortiz worth it? Hell yes he was. Kuchar had zero wins in the last four years and then he gets a win with Ortiz? Give him the 10 percent and then some. 

Hell, even if you don’t think he was worth it, write the check just to make this go away, because now you not only look stingy, you look idiotic. 

No wonder one anonymous player told Golf Channel dot com that Kuchar’s payout was 'embarrassing.' It is. 

But you know how this goes. The story is quiet for a while, then bubbles up, and then Kuchar and his team come to their senses and they get shamed into making things right for the caddie.

Wrong again. 

Because this is what Kuchar said yesterday: "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 OK 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.”

Holy crap that is exactly how not to handle this. 

"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."

Dude, please tell me that you did not really say, after winning 1.3 mill that “making $5,000 is a great week.” The only thing missing from the end of that sentence was “for someone who lives in a cinderblock house.” 

And Kuchar wasn’t done: "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 David was OK with, and I thought Sunday he was very much OK 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 it's turned into a story, because it doesn't need to be. We had a great week.”

My man, it’s turned into a story because you’ve made it a story. It’s a story because you didn’t handle your business. 

Again, even if you think he’s jamming you, pay the man his money. You’ve made 46 mill. 50 grand is a rounding error. It’s in your couch cushions, but it would change his family’s life, potentially for generations. 

Wouldn’t you like that to be the story here? But instead, the story is you stiffing a guy who helped you get your first win in four years. But sure, stick to your deal. By the way, was that deal: Hey, David, if I win 1.3 million, I’ll give you an extra two grand on top of the three that we’ve agreed. I sure hope not.

Because if so, you’re a total jackass for even offering that. 

You had a great week and now you’ve ruined it. Seriously, you can’t be this dumb, right, Matt? And when you’re facing heat for it, you aren’t really going to stick to your guns on this one, right? This isn’t the hill you want to stake your reputation on, right? Please tell me it’s not. 

You had a chance for an awesome story here, Matt. One where you get your first win in a long time and you change your caddie’s life. That’s a Hollywood movie right there.  

Instead, you’ve turned your last win into a giant L.

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