The European Tour have been accused of being insensitive following the decision to continue play on after the death of a caddie mid-round at the Madeira Islands Open.
Iain MacGregor, who was caddying for Scottish star Alastair Forsyth, collapsed on the ninth hole at Santo da Serra following a heart attack. It is understood there was no defibrillator on-site, although this has not yet been confirmed.
A number of players took to Twitter to vent their anger about the decision to continue play. Last night, one tweet by @Magicmoments66 asked Twitter users to retweet if they thought the decision to continue following the incident was wrong. After 15 minutes it had 21 retweets, but it has now been retweeted over 700 times.
Caddie death - European Tour statement
"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 Iain 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 6.00pm local time.
All administration will be taken care of by The European Tour and we will help in any way possible."
Caddie death - twitter reaction
Alastair Forsyth, who is believed to have had MacGregor on the bag for the first time last week, said he spoke to European Tour chief executive George O’Grady and agreed that ‘Mac’ would have wanted the event to continue.
“Everybody is in shock,” Forsyth told European Tour.com. “To see that happen to someone in front of your eyes - I don’t know how or when you get over that.
“Myself and playing partners Adam (Gee) and Tano (Goya) met Tournament Officials and spoke to George O’Grady on the phone before taking the decision to play on, because we felt that was what Mac would have wanted.
“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’s 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.”
Zimbabwean MacGregor was a very popular character on the tour and the decision to play on has angered a number of players, despite Forysth’s comments.
The tournament was reduced to 36 holes due to bad weather and went to a play-off after Scotland’s Scott Henry birdied the final three holes to finish joint top alongside England's Daniel Brooks. But the young Clydebank star lost out at the first extra hole. It was Brooks’ first win on the tour and he paid tribute to MacGregor in the aftermath of his win.
“It’s great to get a win, but it’s not nice to do it in these circumstances,” said Brooks. “It’s horrible what happened out there so my condolences go out to all of his family.
“I'm over the moon to have won on The European Tour but I played good golf for the last few days so I'm happy with that."