Matt Kuchar denies allegation he paid local caddie just $3,000 for win

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Matt Kuchar denies allegation he paid local caddie just $3,000 for win

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Matt Kuchar denies allegation he paid local caddie just $3,000 for win

Social media was abuzz Saturday evening on the subject of Matt Kuchar, but the man himself has noted there is nothing to see here.

Tom Gillis, a former PGA Tour player and current PGA Tour Champions contestant, caused a stir on social media with this Friday night tweet:

The storm really caught on Saturday evening, though, as it became clear the player Gillis referred to was … Matt Kuchar (regarding his victorious Mayakoba Golf Classic showing in November 2018).

Obviously, that is a juicy accusation. Not paying a caddie properly is a major black mark in the golf world.

Shelling out just $3,000 to a caddie on Mayakoba’s $1.296 million winner’s check would certainly qualify for that infraction considering a looper in professional golf usually gets 10 percent for a win (thus supposedly meriting a roughly $130,000 payout in this case).

There is additional context that makes this even more fascinating: Kuchar is considered one of the Tour’s nice guys and his looper that week wasn’t his regular man. John Wood, his normal caddie, had a prior engagement and thus Kuchar turned to a local looper for the tournament.

That duty went to a man known as “El Tucan,” and it seemed the pair had the ride of its life on the way to Kuchar’s eighth PGA Tour win.

The allegation that noted nice guy Kuchar paid a local caddie just $3,000 in a win would seem to sully the feel-good tale of their magical one-week partnership.

But after taking a two-shot 54-hole lead Saturday at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Kuchar clarified the allegations are not true.

“That’s not a story,” Kuchar said, per Golf Channel. “(What I paid him), it wasn’t 10 percent. It wasn’t $3,000. It’s not a story.”

As in, don’t believe everything you read on social media.

Kuchar did note in his comment that he didn’t pay “El Tucan” 10 percent of the winnings, but that is justifiable. A local caddie generally doesn’t have the ability to do as much for a player as his longtime professional looper. A local caddie also doesn’t have to deal with the large travel costs that a full-time pro looper must on a week-to-week basis.

Thus, the 10 percent benchmark more applies to professional caddies rather than all loopers. A local caddie may then expect a smaller percentage.

Whatever Kuchar paid the man, he disputes it was $3,000 and clearly feels the amount he did dole out was appropriate.

Kuchar is one day away from another win. This one would net him a $1.152 million check. Wood is on the bag this week, and the assumed 10 percent for the regular would mean he’s in line for roughly $115,000 if his man pulls this out.

There may be social media commentary out there. But with Kuchar’s denial and no true proof at the moment of the $3,000 allegation, Wood is probably secure in knowing he will be properly paid.

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