February 15, 2019 / 11:30 PM / 4 months ago

Golf: Kuchar apologizes to caddie over pay dispute

FILE PHOTO: Jan 31, 2019; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Matt Kuchar with his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Matt Kuchar apologized to caddie David Ortiz on Friday and said he will pay him the amount he asked for after Ortiz criticized the golfer for giving him only $5,000 of the nearly $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 percent of a player’s take from a tournament.

“For a guy who makes $200 a day, a $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 $46 million over the course of his career according to ESPN, said in a statement on Friday.

“They made it seem like I was marginalizing 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 apologize 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 $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.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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