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European Tour caddy dies in the fairway

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European Tour Caddy Ian McGregor collapsed and died on Sunday, suffering a heart attack during the final round of the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal. Alistair Forsyth, for whom McGregor was caddying, controversially decided to complete his round following the tragedy, eliciting negative responses from the public.

Forsyth was on his last hole at Clube de Golfe Santo da Serra, the course’s ninth, when his caddy dropped to the ground. European Tour officials, after consulting caddies and players, decided to continue play and finish the 36-hole event, which was shortened due to inclement weather earlier in the week.

Play was briefly suspended after initial first aid care attempts were unsuccessful, and a moment of silence was held in McGregor’s remembrance before the event was ultimately resumed.

The European Tour issued the following statement regarding the events that took place:

“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.

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.”

Fellow players took to Twitter to voice their opinion of the actions taken by the European Tour.

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Forsyth, who finished tied for 63rd place, defended his decision to continue playing.

“I felt that was what Mac would have wanted,” said Forsyth. “He was a guy I’ve known for 15 years and he was very popular amongst the caddies. Obviously my thoughts go out to his family. For something like that to happen so suddenly is so sad. He’s far too young and he had no problem carrying bags around a golf course so I didn’t see an awful lot wrong with him. He was the life and soul of the caddies’ lounge, a good laugh and nice guy. I’m absolutely numb.”

“It’s great to get a win, but it’s not nice to do it in these circumstances,” said Daniel Brooks, who went on to win the event. “It’s horrible what happened out there so my condolences go out to all of his family.”

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. jc

    May 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    if that was tiger’s caddie, he would probably dock his family for not finishing the round and steal his wallet. (and if he had a wife, try and make it with her at the funeral)

  2. jc

    May 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    we had two guys at our club who always played together…one day, on no. 13, one of the guys dropped dead…the other guy finished the round after the ambulance took the other guy away.
    but hey, he wasn’t going to get his green fees back was he?
    we did have one guy who said he wasn’t feeling good, so he left.
    a few holes later, we see an ambulane coming down the street…the guy had a heart attack but because he was at home by then, they got him to the hospital and he recovered. the last place you want to be is way out on the course (this was before all the cell phones)

  3. KK

    May 18, 2014 at 1:20 am

    There’s a time for mourning. I’m not sure during a tournament is the time for it. “The show must go on” is not just about money, it’s about the respect for the fans, the charities and everyone involved who puts food on the table because of the tournament. Ultimately, it’s loved ones who carry his legacy, not a group of people who only know him as Forsyth’s caddie.

  4. Evan

    May 17, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Think of it as if you were the Caddie, Ian. I would have wanted some attention paid to my condition, a moment of silence, and then the players to finish. I would have wanted some nice words said and a few drinks paid my way in the clubhouse. People die everyday, most much more unceremoniously than Ian McGregor.

    Even if the tournament was cancelled, it wouldn’t have been in regard to the individual, but to the circumstance. Honor the individual and his passion, his life work. Play golf, play the tournament that hundreds of individuals came to win. Finish what was started… canceling or withdrawing does nothing to Honor Ian McGregor.

  5. alex

    May 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Its not like he died and then they just continued, they stopped, took care of it, consulted with the whole field and decided to play. Since he finished 63rd it shows he wasn’t just playing because he could win, he wanted to finish what him and his caddie started.

  6. Jim

    May 16, 2014 at 7:40 am

    The golfer done the right thing. If I was the caddie then I would want him to play on. Don’t judge the golfer. Judge yourself. R.I.P.

  7. Al

    May 16, 2014 at 4:52 am

    This is just about the smallest event on the European tour. Forsyth finished 63, not first or second or top 10, 63rd! Unbelievable that he could continue and that the European tour would be so single minded in trying to finish the event after someone dies on the course. What if it was a player?
    Terrible…..

  8. Boo

    May 15, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    I can guarantee you Phil M. wouldnt have left Bones dead in the fairway only to continue his round!!!!

  9. GolferX

    May 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I am torn over Forsyth’s reaction, a real pro would have gone on because he knows that is what his caddy would have wanted. But then the other side is that it is disrespectful to the family. I don’t know, I’m glad I didn’t have to make that decision. Condolences to the family.

  10. Ben

    May 15, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    The ONLY way not dropping out is acceptable is if he donated all the winnings to the family of the caddy immediately after, which he didn’t do. That’s so incredibly disrespectful.

  11. HD

    May 15, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Forsythe obviously German player, insensitive to human life

    • AAA

      May 15, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Do you want to insult us, or what? (apart from Forsyth being Scottish).

    • Matt

      Jun 20, 2014 at 7:05 am

      I am German and I can’t tell you how insulting I find this comment. The only thing I can say is that you are a complete idiot. Additionally, Forsyth is a Scot. And I don’t think that all Scots are like him. Maybe this is how we Germans are… objective, critical and differentiating.

  12. Desolateplanet

    May 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    It reminds me of Young Guns…..I shall finish the game!

  13. Desolateplanet

    May 15, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I shall finish the game!

  14. Butch

    May 15, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    it’s not like he died on the way to the course..he died ON the course. play should have been stopped right then and there. It only proves once again that MONEY is more important to the Tournaments ,than anyone involved IN them. it had already been shortened, so a 1 day delay would not have hurt a thing…. bad call, no class.

    • Evan

      May 17, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Why did everyone come to the golf course that day? To play golf and finish a tournament… he was taken by natural causes. With some respect being paid his way, they should have finished. What does delaying one day do? His funeral is not going to be that day, not with his family. Let the situation and the people around him (who know him) dictate his final moment and honoring.

      People die everyday, most much less recognized than Ian McGregor. An honorable death for his life’s work; on the fairway, during an event.

  15. Nick

    May 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Euro-trash!

  16. Mat

    May 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Hey, unless I missed it, he might have finished his last couple of shots before he would have known he died. It’s an assumption that he died in two seconds the way this article reads. One might also deduct “I’m having chest pains; go finish and I’ll catch up…” And 10 minutes later, he dies. Tragic, but the story could be that way, and not that insensitive.

  17. Jafar

    May 15, 2014 at 9:27 am

    If Forsyth would have dropped out it would have been sufficient. Let everyone else continue while you attend to your “friend” of 15 years.

    What if his father had died playing golf with friends and then they continued their round?

    Shameless, he should feel bad.

  18. Jeremy

    May 15, 2014 at 2:15 am

    It’s hard to hold him at fault based on a few paragraphs on the web. Like Forsyth said, he knew the guy 15 years. They may have joked about exactly this over a few beers many years back. My first thought was “he’d probably want him to compete and continue,” and that’s the first thing Forsyth said. So let’s not be so quick to judge.

    I do hope he carried his own bag the rest of the way though.

  19. Anthony Penney

    May 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    It’s sad that a player would continue to play while his caddy lay dead, a real pro (person) would have stayed with him until his family arrived and help console them with the grieving process, too sad really.

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Tour News

Arnold Palmer Invitational Tour Truck Report: Rickie’s iron experiments continue, MMT train rolls on, Rose tests a ton

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The fleet of tour trucks arrived southwest of Orlando this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

It’s an appropriate place to be digging into the nuances of pro golfers’ gear, given the club building, tinkering, and general gear junkie-hood of the tournament’s namesake, Arnold Palmer, whose 10,000 club-filled workshop is gear nut’s cave of wonders.

Let’s dig into the tweaks and wholesale switches we’re hearing about at the King’s place.

Titleist

Byeong Hun An plugged a Mitsubishi MMT Utility 125 TX shaft in his Titleist U500 2-iron.

Bernd Wiesberger is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD DI9 TX shaft (tipped 1.5 inches) in his TSi2 3-wood as he searches for more of a consistent cut ball flight. His current gamer features a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 8 TX shaft with the same tipping.

Denny McCarthy, Robert Streb, and Byeong Hun An are all testing new Project X EvenFlow RipTide shafts (which began tour seeding in late January).

And on a related note, while we haven’t heard specifics of anyone putting one in play, we spotted prototype Scotty Cameron 11.5 putters that feature an expanded range of sight lines (more photos here).

Vokey

The report from @vokeywedgerep: “Tons of fresh wedges this week anticipating firm and fast greens at Bay Hill as well as prep for The Players. Many players checked loft and lies, also.”

Bernd Wiesberger has a fresh set of wedges and Byeong Hun An added a 60T SM8.

Doug Ghim, who is usually in an SM8 60-08AD+, is going with a different grind/bounce profile this week: 60-06K.

Patton Kizzire switched to a 52M Proto.

JT Poston is switching to SM8 56-10S reducing some bounce on his wedge (from 56-14).

Jazz Janewattananond may have some of the most unique wedge stampings on tour. Gotta love the skateboard tricks (and the skateboarder stamped by AD) on the 60T!

 

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Callaway

Both Kevin Kisner and Matt Every have switched into Mitsubishi MMT iron shafts (125 TX) as the composite iron shaft surge continues (more on the MMT shafts here).

Francesco Molinari is testing a Callaway Epic Speed (Triple Diamond) driver.

Tyler McCumber has a fresh set of MMB irons.

Sam Burns is in an Epic Speed LS driver with a Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X shaft (and going down three swingweight points, D6 to D3)

Marc Leishman moved into an Epic Speed 4-wood with a Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X shaft.

Matt Wallace is putting an Epic Speed driver (9 degrees) in the bag with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X shaft.

Maverick McNealy is gaming “Proto Top Gun irons” (that we are eager to get a look at!) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Ping

Tyrrell Hatton is testing a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X (tipped 1.5 inch) shaft in his G425 driver. Compared to his gamer, Hatton saw an increase in ball speed, more consistent spin, and less curve to the right.

Cobra

Jason Dufner testing a prototype 3D-printed Cobra putter “Agera.” It seems to feature the same SIK Descending Loft Technology (DLT) as the King Supersport-35.

Rickie Fowler returned to his Rev33 irons—albeit with some fresh grinding to the soles of the sticks. Have we arrived at Rev34?

TaylorMade

Pretty quiet on the TM front—save for some superb limited AP headcovers.

 

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Robert MacIntyre is taking the full SIM2 plunge: SIM2 Max driver, SIM2 Titanium 3-wood, SIM2 Rescue (19.5 degrees).

Tommy Fleetwood is gaming the 2021 TP5x ball.

PXG

Jim Herman is testing a PXG Gen4 driver with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6X (tipped 1 inch).

Zach Johnson was testing a Gen4 driver as well.

Scott Garrison/KBS

Jordan Spieth got a new SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0 grip on his Scotty Cameron 009 putter.

 

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A post shared by GolfWRX (@golfwrx)

Bryson DeChambeau’s SIK Pro C got a loft and lie check.

Free agents

Justin Rose is looking at new blade-style prototype Axis1 Rose putter models—as well as both Mizuno MP-5 and MP-18 irons—in addition to Ping G425 5 and 7-woods (both LST and MAX) with Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange shafts.

A final note: If you’re wondering what 1990 champion Robert Gamez will be playing, here’s a look—Wilson D7 irons, Wilson Staff blades, multiple Cleveland RTX wedge varieties, and a T.P. Mills flatstick. Nice!

Check out all our photos from Bay Hill, here.

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Interesting photos from the Arnold Palmer Invitational (plus links to all photo galleries)

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This week, the PGA Tour is at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida, and GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to spy some interesting things from the grounds and around the practice area as players were getting ready to battle for the $9.3 million purse at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Justin Rose’s new Axis1 (Blade) proto

Justin has been using an Axis1 putter for years, but this is the first time we’ve spotted him with a blade-style prototype version.

Rickie continues to tinker

Rickie Fowler’s bag is always interesting, and this week the Rev33’s are in play.

John Augenstein’s WITB

The 2019 U.S. Am runner-up turned professional in late 2020 has quite the club setup.

Camilo Villegas with new Srixon ZX7 irons

Camilo always has a very interesting club set up based on his unique dynamics into the ball—lots of forward shaft lean and low dynamic loft. Thanks to their more aggressive VT sole the new Srixon ZX7’s seem to be a perfect fit for the Colombian.

Justin Rose continues to test

It was exactly a year ago at the 2020 API, Justin Rose started to tinker with his club setup, and this week in 2021 it appears that he is still working to get dialed in and testings drivers.

Speaking of drivers, Rose was as caught talking to Jason Dufner about his new Cobra RAD Speed, and might have ordered one to test.

A story in 4 parts – the assumed conversation

Rose– “Oh, I like the look of this Duff!”
Duff– “It’s my new one. I like it”
Rose– “Interesting, what’s it all about?”
Duff– “It has all this weight to make it stable, & you adjust it here.”
Rose (on phone )- “Hey cobra can I test one of those Rad drivers?”

 

Kisner with a unique putting drill

Keith Mitchell continues to use HZRDUS T1100 in his driver

With all the talk about players including Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen moving to longer and much more flexible driver shafts, Keith Mitchell continues to buck the trend with one of the stiffest shafts available – the ProjectX HZRDUS T1100.

Here’s a look at Louis with his stock Ping ALTA CB stiff shaft.

Alex Noren loaded up with golf balls

We know there is a lot of water around the course this week at Bay Hill, and it looks like Alex Noren is prepared like an 18 handicap headed out to play from the back tees with four dozen balls ready to go.

Dufner putting with his wedge

Jason Dufner was seen working on his putting using the popular bellied wedge drill which forces you to work on producing a level stroke and precise center contact.

Hideki Matsuyama’s bag must be heavy

Hideki is the ultimate tester, which is why we love him at GolfWRX.

Bryson potentially testing grips

It looks like Bryson was getting ready to test some new Jumbo-Max grips, or just had a fresh set installed this week.

Paging Ping – Harris English needs a new putter headcover

That ratty old thing must hold some sentimental value to Harris based on its condition.

Charl Schwartzel back to Miura irons

Charl has gone through a number of iron sets in recent memory and at the API it looks like he’s back to a set of Miura 001 blades.

Spieth testing new utility

Jordan Spieth had a few extra Titleist utility irons next to his bag on the putting green, and it could be that he is working on his gapping because of the long par 3’s at Bay Hill.

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WGC-Workday Championship Tour Truck Report: New putter for Rory, more AutoFlex experiments

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First and foremost, prayers and love to Tiger Woods and his family.

TaylorMade

Rory McIlroy is going back to an older model putter this week at Concession swapping his Spider X for a TP Juno.

Robert McIntyre AKA “Bobby Mack” put a new TaylorMade Rescue ’21 Hybrid ([email protected]) in the bag with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black Hybrid 100 6.5 TX.

Matthew Wolff put a new TaylorMade (19) UDI in the bag with a Mitsubishi MMT 125TX.

Collin Morikawa was testing SIM2, SIM2 Max hybrids this week with Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX shafts.

Dustin Johnson alongside TaylorMade’s Keith Sbarboro was testing SIM2 drivers with Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X, Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 and an LAGP Proto.

Callaway

Jon Rahm made adjustments to his Mavrik Sub Zero 5-wood to optimize launch. The 5-wood has 16.4 degrees of loft and a Black Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8X. The adjustments were to the lie of the club going from 59.8 to 58.9 and weight distribution from 12g Front/6g Back to 10G Front/6g Back. Dialed.

Min Woo Lee put a new Epic Speed ([email protected]) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7X. Lee also debuted his new logo which is on fire.

Titleist 

Genesis Invitational champion Max Homa tested TSi2 5-woods to give him some options for some of the tee shots at Concession. It’s equipped with a Graphite Design Tour XC 8 TX.

Lanto Griffin swapped into a shorter driver going from 45 to 44.5 in his TSi3 (10). Griffin’s driver has a Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5TX

Justin Thomas put a TSI3 (9) in the bag this week. The new set up is powered by a Mitsubishi Diamana ZF TX

Ping

Cameron Champ switched back into a shorter length Ping G425 LST this week going from 45 to 44.25 inches. The shaft is a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70 6.5 TX (@44.25 , Tip 1.5, D4 SW).

Louis Oosthuizen did something interesting. He had a Ping build him a G425 LST (10.5 @ 9.4, Small -) with the company’s lightweight Alta Slate CB 55 stiff shaft. The 2010 Open Champion was looking for a softer feel with the driver, which isn’t surprising, considering he was seen taking a hard look at Adam Scott’s TSi with an AutoFlex. The whippy lightweight plot thickens…

Ping released a bunch of new putters this week for seeding. Multiple staffers tested them and we will see on Thursday if any go in play.

Cobra

Cobra’s Ben Schomin (and king of the mullets) is doing something to Bryson’s driver—wanted to post this because of the respect for Ben’s hair. Hair aside, Bryson did put a new LAGP Axis Blue 6X in his driver and was also testing new Rad Speed 3 Woods.

Misc/Free Agents

Tommy Fleetwood swapped out his Callaway MD5 Jaws wedges for a set of Titleist Vokey’s (52M, 56M, and 60T) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts.

Adam Scott (Titleist staff) was testing long center shafted Odyssey Two Ball 10.

 

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