The inability to respond to a change in the weather has shown us more about who Matt Kuchar really is.
The change in climate? A drought-breaking – it was four long years – victory that earned the (previously) likable good guy over $1.26-million.
For a man who is already in the top 10 on the career money list, and who is nearing $50m in total on-course earnings, he really should’ve been more aware of his surroundings and position of privilege. Maybe some better insight would’ve alerted him to the circumstances of his caddie and his caddie’s place down the chain of privilege.
A very brief summary of the issue: Kuchar played in Mexico without his regular caddie, and duly won the Mayakoba Classic. He referred to David ‘El Tucan’ Ortiz as his ‘lucky charm’ and posed for photos with his beaming smile – which right now, after the scorching details of how little he paid this ‘charm’, seems rather patronising.
Yes, sure there was an agreement. Yes, sure Ortiz didn’t deserve the standard 10% due to a permanent caddie. Yes, sure El Tucan probably didn’t do more than carry the bag, attend pins, rake bunkers etc. But 0.38%? How is that anywhere close to fair and good?
Matt, why when you have had the opportunity to share a very small portion of your wealth, did you now decide to take a moral stand instead of buckling under the weight of common sense? It’s reasonable to deduce that in Kuchar’s world, an agreement is an agreement no matter the morals behind the final picture.
The Ryder and Presidents Cup stalwart insists he will sleep well and has no regrets over the issue. By giving Ortiz a thousand dollars more than they agreed, he insists it was a good week for the caddie. Why then Kuch, did you offer more – exactly three times more – after this issue was brought to the attention of the world’s media?
It shows a crack in the ‘golly gosh, I don’t swear, I’m just a regular joe’ facade. It shows that money, and hiding behind principles to keep as much of it as possible could be embedded in one’s DNA.
There has been a change in climate, Matt. One that leaves your reputation without the shine it had before that week at the Mayakoba. One that you will carry around for the rest of your career and on to the Champions Tour.
There’s no surprise that Kuchar declined to say if he would do things differently given a second chance. He probably wouldn’t.
Money, he will learn, can’t restore a reputation but it can sure wreck it.