sport

Larrazabal wants McGregor tribute

Pablo Larrazabal has called for everyone in the Spanish Open to wear black as a mark of respect to the late Iain McGregor.

Zimbabwean caddie McGregor died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack while working for Scotland's Alastair Forsyth in the final round of the Madeira Islands Open at Santo da Serra.

Larrazabal was one of many players to criticise the decision to complete the tournament - which had already been reduced to 36 holes due to numerous weather delays - and is trying to organise his own tribute.

"In honor of an awesome man and a great caddie I want to promote the black color for all caddies, players and fans on thursday... #RIPZimMac," Larrazabal wrote on Twitter.

Abu Dhabi Chamionship winner Larrazabal is one of four Spanish players to taste victory on the European Tour this season, with Miguel Angel Jimenez defending his Hong Kong Open title in December, Sergio Garcia winning in Qatar and Alejandro Canizares in Morocco.

But the 2008 rookie of the year - who celebrates his 31st birthday on Thursday - has managed just one top-10 since his victory, albeit a rather remarkable one in Kuala Lumpur.

Larrazabal hit the headlines in the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open last month when he shot a remarkable 68 despite having to dive into a lake after being attacked by hornets.

The incident happened on the fifth hole - Larrazabal's 14th hole of the day - and after drying off and receiving treatment, he went on to birdie the par five and make another on the seventh. A closing 67 eventually gave him a share of eighth place.

Garcia is as short as 4/1 to win his second Spanish Open title after finishing third in the Players Championship on Sunday, but France's Raphael Jacquelin will not be giving up his title without a fight.

Jacquelin, who won a record-equalling nine-hole play-off at El Saler last year, said: "It's another course for us this year, but I'm really looking forward to defending my title.

"Last year was a great win for me. It was a long nine hole play-off, so it was obviously very tough mentally and physically, but it finished well for me, which made it a little easier to recover from it.

"When I won in Madrid in 2005 it changed course the following year too, so I've done it before. I'm happy to go to Girona though. I've not played the course much - only the year that Thomas Levet won (2009). It's a great venue and it is always nice to go as defending champion. You get a good draw and hopefully that will help me to continue the form I showed in Singapore.

"It was a nice way to finish in Singapore with a 66 and hopefully I will carry that on into the season in Europe. It was great to have that round before I defend my title in Spain."