Alasdair Forsyth defends decision to complete round after his caddie Iain McGregor suffers a fatal heart attack at the Madeira Islands Open

Forsyth admits that he and playing partners Adam Gee and Tano Goya met tournament officials who agreed McGregor would have wanted them to continue

Scotland's Alastair Forsyth has defended the decision to finish the Madeira Islands Open after his caddie died on the course on Sunday.

Forsyth was playing the last hole of his round - the par-four ninth on the steeply undulating Santo da Serra layout - when 52-year-old Zimbabwean Iain McGregor collapsed on the fairway and suffered a fatal heart-attack.

An indefinite suspension of play was initially announced, but the decision was later taken to resume play at 6pm, with England's Daniel Brooks eventually beating Scotland's Scott Henry on the first play-off hole.

"Everybody is in shock," Forsyth said. "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 (European Tour chief executive) George O'Grady on the phone before taking the decision to play on, because we felt that was what Mac would have wanted.

Iain McGregor suffers fatal heart attack during Madiera Islands Open

"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."

The decision to finish the event was criticised by a number of players, including Sweden's Joel Sjoholm who had previously worked with McGregor.

"Can't believe that they are sending out players to finish the 2nd and final round when someone just died on the course!!!," Sjoholm, who missed the 18-hole cut in Madeira, wrote on Twitter. "R.I.P my dear Mac! Way too young! This going to be a tough evening!"

Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano wrote: "Really sad news from Madeira. We are going to miss you Mac. One of the nicest guys on Tour. £RIPIainMcgregor."

And in reply to a post saying it was "a pity" the tournament had continued, Fernandez-Castano added. "I can't agree more £shame."

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 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 6pm local time. All administration will be taken care of by The European Tour and we will help in any way possible."

The European Tour's 1,500th tournament had been reduced to 36 holes due to numerous lengthy delays caused by fog, with Brooks and Henry eventually finishing tied on nine under par.

Henry birdied the last three holes to force a play-off but then three-putted the first extra hole, the 18th, as Brooks secured the title with a par.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower