“This week, I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse,” Kuchar said in a statement after he was reportedly heckled in the first round of the rain-delayed Genesis Open on Friday.
“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. In this situation, I have not lived up to those values or to the expectations I’ve set for myself.
“I let myself, my family, my partners and those close to me down, but I also let David down.
“I plan to call David, something that is long overdue, to apologise for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total that he has requested.”
Kuchar, who said earlier this week he would “not be losing sleep” over the row, confirmed he had paid Ortiz $5,000 and that he subsequently offered an additional $15,000, which Ortiz refused, after the story became public.
According to Kuchar, he and Ortiz originally agreed to a bonus structure which would have allowed Ortiz to make up to $4,000 for the week.
“I never wanted to bring any negativity to the Mayakoba Golf Classic,” Kuchar added.
“I feel it is my duty to represent the tournament well, so I am making a donation back to the event, to be distributed to the many philanthropic causes working to positively impact the communities of Playa del Carmen and Cancun.
“For my fans, as well as fans of the game, I want to apologise to you for not representing the values instilled in this incredible sport.”
Kuchar’s regular caddie John Wood, who was not present in Mexico last November, added on social media: “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.
“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.
-10 J Thomas (US), A Scott (Aus); -9 JB Holmes (US); -7 J Spieth (US), L List (US); -6 K Bradley (US); -5 J Rahm (Spa), S Kim (Kor), V Taylor (US), S Langley (US), T Finau (US), P Rodgers (US), K Hickok (US)
Selected others: -3 R McIlroy (NI), R Cabrera Bello (Spa); -1 T Woods (US), S Power (Ire),P Casey (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng); Level: S Garcia (Spa), E Els (SA), D Willet (Eng); +1, P Mickelson (US)
-8 JB Holmes (US); -7 J Spieth (US); -5 K Bradley (US), J Thomas (US), T Finau (US), A Scott (Aus), P Rodgers (US), K Hickok (US)
Selected others: -1 T Hatton (Eng), P Casey (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng), T Woods (US); Level D Willet (Eng) +1 R McIlroy (NI), P Mickelson (US)
JB Holmes leads the Genesis Open by one shot from fellow American Jordan Spieth after the first round was completed on Friday following Thursday’s heavy rain.
Long delays meant the majority of the field did not begin their opening round until Friday at Riviera Country Club.
Organisers even took the unusual step of nullifying the scores of those who had headed out in awful conditions and allowing them to re-start the round.
Holmes carded an eight-under-par 63 to take the lead in Los Angeles.
Spieth said he was “fortunate” to be able to start his round again after initially heading out in increasing rain and deteriorating visibility, going on to birdie the three par-fives and also chip in twice for birdie.
The American said he returned to play “beautifully” on the final six holes on Friday.
“Yesterday was a grind to start,” he added. “Was really fortunate to kind of have my short game on point, chip a couple in.
“Those were bonuses that very well could have been bogeys.”
Americans Justin Thomas and Tony Finau and Australia’s Adam Scott were among a group of six players to finish on five under.
Phil Mickelson saw his unlikely par at Riviera’s 10th – where he was in three bunkers and holed out from the sand – written off as play was restarted on Thursday, eventually finishing on one over on Friday.
Fourteen-time major champion Tiger Woods carded a one-under-par 70, along with Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood, with Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy two shots adrift.
The second round immediately followed on while some players were still out completing their first on Friday.
ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open first-round leaderboard
-10 M Sagstrom (Swe), H Wei-ling (Tai); -7 N Korda (US), H Nomura (Jap), H Green (Aus); -6 J Ewart Shadoff (Eng); -5 B Law (Eng)
Selected others:-3 C Hull (Eng), K Webb (Aus), C Boutier (Fra); +3 M Reid (Eng); +4 G Hall (Eng)
England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff lost her share of the lead at the LPGA Tour’s Women’s Australian Open after a one-over-par 73 in round two in Adelaide.
The 31-year-old dropped back to six under, four adrift of Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom (67) and Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling, who shot a 69 to stay top.
England’s Bronte Law (72) is five under, while compatriot Charley Hull’s bogey-free 66 moved her to three under.
Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall missed the cut on four over.
Hall had begun the day on three under and opened with a birdie but two bogeys in the next three holes and a triple-bogey eight at the fifth saw the Englishwoman drop to one over.
Four more bogeys followed and although Hall birdied the 18th, her 79 meant she missed the cut by one shot.
Fellow Englishwoman Mel Reid also struggled in round two. She had four bogeys on the back nine in a five-over 77, including dropping a shot on the 18th, but will play the weekend rounds after squeezing inside the cut mark on three over.
Fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods has praised Genesis Open playing partner Rory McIlroy as the American aims for a first win at the tournament.
The former Los Angeles Open, which has had several different names, is the only one Woods has played at 10 or more times without winning.
Woods tees off with world number nine McIlroy and Justin Thomas on Thursday.
“He’s a great kid, with unbelievable parents, and we have got close over the years,” said Woods.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing with Rory – I’ve always enjoyed watching him play, how he has developed, and the amount of tournaments he has won, yet he’s still learning and developing.
“There’s a lot of wins ahead of him but I’ve enjoyed being a part of watching him mature on the Tour and getting to know him a lot closer.”
McIlroy arrives at Riviera on the back of top-five finishes in his two tournaments in 2019, a year in which he is focusing firmly on the PGA Tour as he tries to end a four-year winless streak in major championships.
Can Woods end Genesis Open losing streak?
Woods will hope 13 proves to be his lucky number as he seeks to fill in one of the few gaps on his incredible golfing CV.
Woods made his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old schoolboy in the 1992 Los Angeles Open – but like his idol Jack Nicklaus has never tasted victory at the Riviera Country Club.
The 43-year-old’s best results in 12 starts were back-to-back runners-up finishes in 1998 and 1999.
Woods missed the cut at Riviera last year after rounds of 72 and 76, but that was still early on in his comeback following spinal fusion surgery, and the former world number one went on to win his 80th PGA Tour title in the Tour Championship later in the season.
It is the second year running he has been paired with Northern Ireland’s McIlroy and fellow American Thomas for the first two rounds.
ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open first-round leaderboard
-7 J Ewart Shadoff (Eng), H Wei-ling (Tai); -5 K Webb (Aus), M Sagstroem (Swe), B Law (Eng)
Selected others: -3 G Hall (Eng); -2 M Reid (Eng); -1 C Boutier (Fra), F Johnson (Eng), L Ko (NZ), M Lee (Aus)
England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff shares the early lead after a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 in “perfect conditions” at the Women’s Australian Open.
The 31-year-old carded seven birdies at The Grange to set the first-round pace with Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling.
England’s Bronte Law and Australia’s Karrie Webb are in a group two adrift.
“To get off to a good start is always nice,” said Ewart Shadoff. “I worked a little but on my putts at the start of the week and that definitely paid off.”
Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall is three under following a 69.
New Zealand’s former world number one Lydia Ko and Australian Min-jee Lee, ranked seven, are four strokes further back in the LPGA Tour event in Adelaide, alongside France’s Celine Boutier who won last week’s Vic Open.
Thai world number one Ariya Jutanugarn struggled to a four-over-par 76.
Golf’s biggest first prize will be awarded at the European Tour’s season-ending event in Dubai in November.
The winner will net $3m (£2.3m), an increase of $1.67m on the amount won by Englishman Danny Willett last year.
The aim is to encourage more big name players to complete the Race to Dubai.
Last year world number one Justin Rose skipped the tournament at Jumeirah Golf Estates because he had no chance of overhauling Francesco Molinari for the overall Race to Dubai title.
Only two players, Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, still had the opportunity of winning the season-long money list by the time players arrived in the Middle East for the closing event.
The overall prize fund remains at $8m (£6.2m) but the field will be cut from 60 to the top 50 on the money list. The distribution of the prize money will be top loaded to provide the sport’s largest winner’s cheque for an individual tournament.
It is one of a series of changes announced by the European Tour for the climax of 2019 season. There are also significant increases for finishing first at the Turkish Airlines Open and South Africa’s Nedbank Challenge.
The champion in Turkey will take home $2m and the following week at Sun City the winner will collect $2.5m.
Again, the total prize funds for both tournaments remain unaltered but the fields will be reduced, with 70 men at the Turkish event and 60 in South Africa.
“The changes we have announced in terms of enhanced winner’s cheques, Race to Dubai points and bonus pool dividend are designed to increase the excitement around the end of the season, as well as encourage greater top player participation in our final three events,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.
Pelley added: “Had these additional Race to Dubai points been available over the past five years, on average between five and 16 players would have come to our final event with a chance of winning the Race to Dubai, in addition to an average of 43 players having the chance to earn bonus pool money at the end of the season – both numbers considerably higher than was actually the case in those years.
“With the revised prize money breakdown and the extra Race to Dubai points in place for 2019, this provides a tremendous incentive for our players.”
Previously the top 10 finishers on the Race to Dubai shared the bonus pool of $5m, but now that sum will be split between only the leading five finishers.
Whoever tops the standings will receive an additional $2m compared with the $1.25m won by Molinari last year.
“I am an emotional player and, while I believe that’s one of my biggest strengths, it’s also one of my biggest flaws,” added Garcia in a post on social media.
“I’m focused on working hard to channel that emotion the correct way and to be the best me, learn from it and move forward. Thanks for all the support.”
Garcia became the first player on the European Tour to be disqualified under Rule 1.2a, which reads, “players are expected to play in the spirit of the game by acting with integrity, showing consideration to others and taking good care of the course”.