European Tour Criticized For Finishing Madeira Island Open After Caddie Death
The European Tour "suffered condemnation from its own membership" after the final round of the Madeira Islands Open on Sunday "was allowed to continue despite the death of a caddie," according to Ewan Murray of the London GUARDIAN. Caddie Iain McGregor, who was working for Scot Alastair Forsyth, "collapsed on the 9th fairway with a suspected heart attack and died a short time later." Following a suspension in play and discussion with both players and caddies, the Tour resumed the final round of the competition. It "seemed an insensitive move, as others were quick to recognise." Golfer Mikko Ilonen posted on Twitter, "Call it off NOW European Tour. Have some respect please." Jean-Baptiste Gonnet "continued on this theme." Gonnet: "Can't believe there are still playing in Madeira. There is no respect anymore. How you can even walk on the 9th fairway?" (GUARDIAN, 5/11). In London, Rick Broadbent reported a "minute’s silence was held at the clubhouse at the Santo da Serra." McGregor’s popularity "drew plenty of tributes." Gary Player tweeted: “RIP Big Mac. You will be missed. My condolences” (LONDON TIMES, 5/11). In a statement, the European Tour said, "It is with great sadness and deep regret that we report the untimely passing of caddie Iain MacGregor 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" (SKY SPORTS, 5/11).