There's some very sad, startling news coming from the European Tour Sunday in Portugal, as caddie Ian McGregor died on the course during play at the Madeira Islands Open. McGregor was caddying for Alastair Forsyth in the event, which was attempting to finish up the tournament playing 36 holes on Sunday. He collapsed on the ninth hole at Clube de Golfe Santo da Serra. The European Tour did release a short statement confirming McGregor's passing.
It is with great sadness and deep regret that we report the untimely passing of caddie Ian 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.
The BBC reported McGregor passed from a "suspected heart attack," but the cause of death was still not immediately confirmed. Gary Player, nine-time major winner, tweeted his condolences after learning of the passing of the Zimbabwean looper.
RIP Big Mac. You will be missed. My condolences— Gary Player (@garyplayer) May 11, 2014
The Madeira Islands Open was reduced to 36 holes, all to be played on Sunday after heavy fog prevented play the first three days. The decision to continue the tournament drew sharp criticism from some Euro Tour players and media on Twitter.
Can't believe that they are sending out players to finish the 2nd and final round when someone just died on the course!!! #RIPiainMcgregor— Joel Sjöholm (@SwedishTORO) May 11, 2014
Cant believe they are going to keep playing in Madeira... Live is more important than golf... #RIPmac— Pablo Larrazabal (@plarrazabal) May 11, 2014
Big mistake by European tour in deciding to play on after caddie's death....#distasteful— John Huggan (@johnhuggan) May 11, 2014
It's always about the money in golf. Disgusting to continue playing a tournament after a caddie has died on a fairway— James Corrigan (@jcorrigangolf) May 11, 2014
Update: Golf Channel's Ryan Lavner reports that McGregor suffered cardiac arrest while in the fairway at the ninth hole.