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Golf: Anger as Madeira Open goes on despite caddie's death

British caddie Ian McGregor died from a suspected heart attack at the Madeira Islands Open on Sunday.

MADEIRA, Portugal: Caddie Iain McGregor died from a suspected heart attack at the Madeira Islands Open on Sunday, prompting anger that the event was not called off as a mark of respect.

Zimbabwe-born McGregor, 52, who was caddying for Scotland's Alastair Forsyth, collapsed on the ninth hole at the Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra.

The decision to continue playing the event, which had been reduced to 36 holes after three days ruined by heavy fog, was criticised by a series of players.

"Cant believe they are going to keep playing in Madeira... Life is more important than golf...#RIPmac," tweeted Spain's Pablo Larrazabal.

Sweden's Joel Sjoholm and Finland's Mikko Ilonen also criticised the decision.

"Can't believe that they are sending out players to finish the 2nd and final round when someone just died on the course," tweeted Sjoholm.

Ilonen wrote: "Call it off NOW European Tour. Have some respect please."

But Forsyth insisted that McGregor would have wanted the tournament to carry on.

"Everybody is in shock," said Forsyth who completed the event. "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 officials and spoke to (EPGA 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.

"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 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 European Tour released a statement saying that players and caddies had been consulted before the decision was taken to keep playing the tournament.

"Following consultation with the players and caddies involved, it was decided that play should continue and the tournament should finish," said the statement.

"A minute's silence has taken place at the clubhouse and play resumed at 6.00pm local time."

England's Daniel Brooks went on to take the title -- his first on the European Tour -- beating Scott Henry in a play-off.

Henry birdied the final three holes to card a four under par 68, to move to nine under alongside Brooks and force extra holes.

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