David Ortiz, the local caddie who was at the forefront of Matt Kuchar's tipping saga last year, is back at the Mayakoba Golf Classic thanks to a series of fortunate events.
After Jason Dufner withdrew from the tournament, Rob Oppenheim, the first alternate, was offered the spot and jumped on the opportunity. Oppenheim took the next flight out from his home in Orlando to Mexico. However, his regular caddie, Dean Emerson, was stuck in Boston.
Enter "El Tucan."
"I needed a caddie," Oppenheim said, according to Golf Digest's Brian Wacker. "(Ortiz) lives here, was available, and aside from everything that has gone on, I was looking for the best opportunity to play well. He knows the course and has had success here."
They met for the first time Thursday as rain wiped out an entire day of competition. Even with the delay, Oppenheim will roll with Ortiz for the week instead of finding a way to get his regular looper to Mexico in time for the Friday start, according to Wacker.
After what unfolded when Kuchar won the 2018 Mayakoba and only tipped Ortiz $5,000 from his nearly $1.3-million prize, Oppenheim ensured an agreement between himself and the caddie is in place, but he didn't disclose the details.
"Whether it's him, or any caddie, you want to discuss what the expectations are and payments are and get out in the open before you go to work," Oppenheim said. "But I would've done that with any guy."
Oppenheim's finishing position and associated paycheck will be in the spotlight come Sunday. Whether or not his agreement with Ortiz is deemed acceptable will remain unknown, for now.