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European Tour caddy dies in the fairway



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.



  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?

  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


  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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