sport

Caddie death in Madeira

The Madeira Islands Open was played to a finish on Sunday despite the death of caddie Iain McGregor on the course.

Zimbabwean McGregor, who was working for Scotland's Alastair Forsyth, suffered a heart attack on the ninth hole at Santo da Serra, a steeply undulating course more than 2,000 feet above sea level.

An indefinite suspension of play was initially announced, but the decision was eventually taken to resume play at 6pm. to win his maiden title.

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.

Tributes

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

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

And McGregor's 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."

England's Matt Blackey also expressed his condolences, adding: "Just heard that one of my old caddies passed away today doing the job he loved in Madeira. Thoughts and prayers with his family! #RIPMac."

Scottish caddie Craig Connolly, who was preparing to work for joint-leader Martin Kaymer in the final round of the Players Championship in Florida, 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!"

The European Tour's 1,500th tournament had been reduced to 36 holes due to numerous lengthy delays caused by fog.