Matt Kuchar had a rough week on the public relations front.
Friday, he issued a statement apologizing for criticisms of his caddie in the Mayakoba Classic and said he would pay David “El Tucan” Ortiz $50,000 as Ortiz requested.
But, there are supporters of Kuchar in the golf community.
Chief among them is Kuchar’s full-time caddie, John Wood. Ortiz is a local caddie and was paid $5,000 in cash by Kuchar after Kuchar’s victory last November in Mexico. Kuchar won $1.296 million and it is customary for pros to pay their caddies a 10 percent bonus when they win.
“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. I wouldn’t work for someone I didn’t respect, or who didn’t value my opinion. To crucify for one mistake feels wrong, Wood Tweeted overnight Friday.
Wood continued: “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.”
Fellow PGA Tour pro and former Masters champion Zach Johnson also Tweeted a statement of support for Kuchar early Saturday.
Kuchar finished his first round at Riviera at 1-over par. He plays round two Saturday.