Euro Tour chief sorry over ‘hurt’
European Tour chief executive George O’Grady has apologised for the way they handled things following the death of caddie Iain McGregor at the Madeira Islands Open.
McGregor, on the bag of Alastair Forsyth, suffered a heart attack on the ninth hole and paramedics were unable to revive him. Play at the Santo da Serra was initially suspended, but officials decided to return to the course after a few hours.
Although Forsyth defended the decision to resume play, Paul Lawrie and two other players immediately withdrew from the tournament and the Scot said “in my opinion it was shocking, absolutely shocking, they played on”.
O’Grady held an “emotional” meeting with the European Tour Caddies Association at the Spanish Open and players’ tournament committee chairman Thomas Bjorn also attended.
“We had a full and frank meeting with chairman Gerry Byrne and his committee, a meeting which was understandably emotional at times and one during which I apologised to them for the hurt and upset caused by events in Madeira,” he said in a statement.
“I completely understand the views of people who say that we should not have carried on, but it was a terrible situation for anyone to be in and the decision to finish the tournament was not taken lightly, either by myself or by the tournament officials on the ground in Madeira.
“However, that decision is in the past and the important thing now is that we continue to work with Mac’s family and friends – as we have done from last Sunday – to assist with arrangements surrounding the funeral, which will take place in Madeira next Thursday, the same day as we wear ‘Black for Mac’ at Wentworth (during the first round of the BMW PGA Championship).
“I have also personally instructed a review of how we deal, operationally, at tournaments with situations such as this so that we can ensure the lessons of Madeira are learned.”
Gerry Byrne, chairman of the European Tour Caddies Association, said: “We as a committee have faced an extremely tough week. Dealing with the passing of our colleague and friend during a tournament is particularly upsetting.
“While we understand that decisions have to be made at very short notice, it will come as no surprise to anyone that all European Tour caddies felt the wrong one was made in Madeira.
“We went into the meeting unhappy and it was emotional at times, but George’s humility and honesty in dealing with tough questions was greatly appreciated and it reassured us of the caddies’ important position within the Tour.
“We can now look forward to celebrating Iain’s life next Thursday and strengthening our links with the European Tour moving forwards.”
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.
Rory McIlroy picks up the pace to claim lead ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in Rome
McIlroy’s group looked unlikely to complete their second rounds after taking three hours to play nine holes.
Matt Fitzpatrick leads way at Italian Open despite ‘inconsistent’ display
The US Open champion held a one-shot lead over fellow Englishman Tom Lewis,
Rory McIlroy rues a late night until eagle gets him flying in Italian Open
The four-time major winner was only a shot behind leader Matt Fitzpatrick after the first round of the Rome event.
Rory McIlroy begins Italian Open with superb 67 after recovering from slow start
He kick-started his round by holing out from 115 yards for an eagle on the par-four third.
Shane Lowry: Golf risks alienating fans with disgusting amount of money involved
The BMW PGA Championship winner insists he was never tempted to join LIV Golf.