Carrying new bag, El Tucan narrowly misses cut in Mayakoba title defense

November 17, 2019
David "El Tucan" Ortiz was caddying this week for Rob Oppenheim at the Mayakoba Classic.
Rob Oppenheim walks with fill-in caddie David Ortiz at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
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Matt Kuchar’s dreams of a Mayakoba title defense are still alive — but his caddie’s are not.

David “El Tucan” Ortiz, who was on the bag for Kuchar’s victory last year, picked up a last-minute loop for journeyman pro Rob Oppenheim. Unfortunately he couldn’t muster the same magic he’d found with Kuchar in 2018 or Alex Cejka in 2019, when the pair finished T9.

When Jason Dufner withdrew last-minute, Oppenheim got in, but his usual caddie wasn’t able to make it to Mayakoba on time, which led him to Ortiz. A low-payment saga had thrust Ortiz (and Kuchar) into the spotlight, and as a result nearly everyone in the golf world was aware of a caddie available for hire in Playa del Carmen.

“I needed a caddie,” Oppenheim told Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker on Wednesday. “He 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.”

Oppenheim made three bogeys against just one birdie in his opening round of 2-over 73. With the cut line lurking at even par, he needed a second-round rally, but a double bogey at No. 6 set him back, and despite four birdies on the day, bogeys at 14 and 17 sealed his fate.

Oppenheim has now made three cuts in six starts this season.