Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 24 May 2016

European Tour were wrong to play after golf caddie tragedy

Biting Back: Where the debate starts

By Steven Beacom

Published 14/05/2014

Steven Beacom
Steven Beacom

A man called Iain McGregor died last weekend. He was a 52-year-old golf caddie from Zimbabwe.

During Sunday's final round of the Madeira Islands Open, while caddying for Scotland's Alastair Forsyth, Iain had a heart attack on the ninth fairway and passed away.

Following the tragedy, it was announced that the European Tour event had been suspended indefinitely.

It wasn't too long, though, before the decision was taken to complete the tournament with the players, including Forsyth, returning to the course with a minute's silence held for Iain before play resumed.

Forsyth finished the ninth hole, which was his last of the day, saying it was what Iain would have wanted. The European Tour gave the same reason for continuing with the tournament.

I know life goes on... but surely not that quickly? Some of the golfers were astounded and angry that play continued, asking for respect to be shown. Irishman Peter Lawrie withdrew from the tournament immediately after the restart was confirmed, slamming the decision.

I shared that discomfort. To me it seemed like an insensitive call to make.

It's a moral dilemma and one I pray we aren't faced with at the North West 200 this week when hopefully all the riders, marshalls and fans get home safely.

Sadly, that's not always the case. In motorcycling, a sport where everyone is aware of the dangers, they tend to carry on if there is a fatality, as was the case at the Tandragee 100 earlier this month when county Dublin rider Noel Murphy died. I'm not sure I could, could you?

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

From the web

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph