Matt Kuchar does not deserve the public ire for tipping his fill-in caddie a bag of peanuts after winning the Mayakoba Classic last November, says his regular caddie, from his box under a bridge. Jokes.
John Wood, Kuchar’s long-time club carrier, defended his employer’s character on Twitter late Friday night after it was dragged through the mud in front of the entire golf world for tipping his fill-in caddie, David Ortiz, just $5,000 of his of $1,296,000 winning check (a .38% tip).
Kuchar eventually delivered a seemingly sincere apology, but not before doubling down on comments that many viewed as condescending, like “Making $5,000 is a great week” and “I kind of think, if he had the chance to do it over again, same exact deal, that he’d say yes again.”
This is what Wood had to say about his experience with the nine-time PGA Tour winner:
“I don’t understand the need to tear down a guy who has spent his career trying to uphold the game and himself to some pretty high standards. Nobody’s perfect. All we can do when a mistake is made is reconsider, apologize and make amends.”
“Matt, his entire family and team have never been anything but generous, inclusive, respectful, and complimentary of me and the job I do for him,” Wood wrote. “I wouldn’t work for someone I didn’t respect, or who didn’t value my opinion. To crucify for one mistake feels wrong.”
This whole saga has been a public relations disaster for Kuchar and his sponsors, especially after former PGA Tour caddie Michael Collins, who now serves as a ESPN golf analyst, ripped Kuchar’s character on the Mattie and the Caddie podcast last week. He said: “Kuchar is the biggest phony out there. That whole smiling thing, it’s an act.”
Kuchar felt the heat of his sponsors and eventually coughed up $50,000 for Ortiz, 10x of what he initially paid him.