American golfer Matt Kuchar has vowed to pay his substitute caddie the fair wage he deserved and issued a public apology after making "insensitive" statements.
Mexican caddie David "El Tucan" Ortiz stepped in for Kuchar's regular caddie, John Wood, at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in November with the expectation to receive up to 10 per cent of the world no. 22's first prize cheque of US$1.3 million.
Although Ortiz only asked to be paid US$50,000 for his work - US$79,000 less than Wood would have received – Kuchar only transferred a mere US$5,000.
The American golfer then made matters worse by justifying his decision in an interview with Golf.com by claiming that earning $5,000 "was a great week" for the local Mexican caddie.
However, in a bid to make things right, Kuchar issued a public apology on Friday for the statements he called "out of touch and insensitive" regarding Ortiz, and vowed to pay the full amount originally requested.
"This week, I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse," Kuchar said.
"They made it seem like I was marginalising David Ortiz and his financial situation, which was not my intention. I read them again and cringed.
"That is not who I am and not what I want to represent.
"My entire tour career, I have tried to show respect and positivity. In this situation, I have not lived up to those values or to the expectations I have set for myself."
Kuchar added that he would call Ortiz to make sure he had received the full total owed and said he had planned to make a donation to the Mayakoba tournament which would then be distributed to various philanthropic causes in the local community.
Wood, who was back on the bag when Kuchar won the Sony Open in Hawaii last month, has since backed his player's public apology on Twitter.
"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, apologise and make amends," Wood posted.
"I wouldn't work for someone I didn't respect, or who didn't value my opinion. To crucify for one mistake feels wrong."
Kuchar shot 68 in his first round at the Genesis and was 1-over through 13 holes of his second before play was suspended for the day on Friday.