Golf

Caddie Iain McGregor dies on course

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Forsyth agreed with the decision to continue (©GettyImages)
Forsyth agreed with the decision to continue (©GettyImages).

Zimbabwean caddie Iain McGregor died on course at the Madeira Islands Open on Sunday.

McGregor was working for Scotland's Alastair Forsyth when he suffered a heart attack on the ninth hole at Santo de Serra, a course which is 2,000 feet above sea level. The tournament had already been reduced to 36 holes after fog had affected the four-day event.

However, play was suspended but resumed again at 6pm with Daniel Brooks beating Scott Henry in a play-off. 

Forsyth believes the decision to play on following the death of his caddie was the right one.

He told Sky Sports: "Myself and playing partners Adam (Gee) and Tano (Goya) met tournament officials and spoke to (chief executive) George O'Grady on the phone before taking the decision to play-on because we felt that was what Mac would have wanted."

The Scot also payed tribute to his caddie. "Everybody is in shock. To see that happen to someone in front of your eyes - I don't know how or when you get over that," he said.

"He was a guy I've known for 15 years and was very popular amongst the caddies.

"Obviously my thoughts go out to his family at this time. For something like this to happen so suddenly is so sad.

"He was far too young for this to happen. He was the life and soul of the caddies' lounge and a nice guy who will be sorely missed. I'm absolutely numb."

But Joel Sjoholm was upset at the decision to continue playing as the Swede worked with McGregor previously.

"Can't believe that they are sending out players to finish the final round when someone just died on the course. R.I.P my dear Mac! Way too young! This is going to be a tough evening"

A statement from the European Tour read:  "It is with great sadness and deep regret that we report the untimely passing of caddie Iain McGregor during play on the final day of the Madeira Islands Open - Portugal - BPI.

"Everyone at The European Tour extends our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Ian at this time.

"Following consultation with the players and caddies involved, however, it has been decided that play should continue and the tournament should finish. A minute's silence has taken place at the clubhouse and play resumed at 6pm local time.

"All administration will be taken care of by The European Tour and we will help in any way possible."

Gary Player led tributes on Twitter, saying: "RIP Big Mac. You will be missed. My condolences."

Fellow Zimbabwean Tony Johnstone added: "Just heard very sad news of passing of my friend Iain McGregor (Zim Mac) whilst caddying in Madeira. A top man and will miss him. RIP Mac."

Scottish caddie Craig Connolly, who works with Players' Championship champion Martin Kaymer wrote:  "Just got to the course and hearing the news that Ian McGregor (Mac) died on the course in Madeira. Very sad news! Great character!"

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Topics:
European Tour
Golf
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