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PGA Golf

Ex-PGA Tour caddie: Matt Kuchar ‘is the biggest phony out there’

Matt Kuchar has been taking a public beating of late after word got out that he paid a substitute caddie only $5,000 for being on his bag at a recent tournament he won.

Despite his efforts to explain the situation — an arguably clumsy, misguided attempt at damage control — allegations are surfacing that Kuchar’s nice -guy persona is just an act.

Former PGA Tour caddie Michael Collins, who now serves as an ESPN golf analyst, blasted Kuchar on his podcast, “Mattie and the Caddie,” this week.

“Kuchar is the biggest phony out there,” Collins said, via the New York Post. “That whole smiling thing, it’s an act.”

The scandal started after David Giral Ortiz, a local caddie subbing for Kuchar’s regular caddie, John Wood, said the PGA Tour star only paid him $5,000 for his work at November’s Mayakoba Classic in Mexico despite taking home a $1.296 million prize.

It merits noting that Kuchar claims he arranged a pay scale with Ortiz where the caddie would be paid $1,000 for a missed cut, $2,000 for making the cut, $3,000 for finishing in the top 20 and $4,000 for a top-10 finish, which left what Ortiz would be compensated for a tourney win unclear.

The standard compensation rate for caddies is said to be between five and ten percent, with the top end of the scale reserved for tournament wins. Ortiz argued he should have received $50,000. He later declined an offer of an additional $15,000 made by Kuchar’s agent.

Kuchar, meanwhile, arguably made matters worse when defending his actions by saying, “Making $5,000 is a great week.”

Collins has caddied for the likes of Daniel Chopra, Rich Beem, Scott Piercy, Brenden Pappas and Kevin Streelman, so the case can be made that he understands the inner workings of the golf world and may know some behind-the-scenes stories about Kuchar.

That said, it is just one man’s opinion, although it will be interesting to see if others come forward to make similar, unflattering statements about Kuchar amid the ongoing fallout.