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All Sides Of The Caddie Conundrum

GIRONA, SPAIN | All last week, a glass of wine with a cigarette balanced across the rim sat on the counter in Girona’s Irish Bar. It was the caddies’ tribute to Iain McGregor, the 52-year-old bagman who died of a heart attack while working for Alastair Forsyth at the previous week’s Madeira Islands Open.
George O’Grady, the European Tour’s CEO who had made the controversial decision – from London – that play should continue after McGregor’s sad passing, had a meeting with the caddies last Thursday evening.
Gerry Byrne, the chairman of the European Tour Caddies Association, is a measured man, a former civil servant who worked in social welfare.
The caddies are lucky to have him. He earlier had explained that he and his colleagues wanted O’Grady to talk them through his thinking and to ask whether, with the benefit of hindsight, there was anything he would have done differently. “Above all,” he said, “we wanted to see humanity.”
They saw it.
On listening to the caddies, O’Grady admitted that he could have made another decision. Leaving the remainder of play ‘til the Monday was one option, cancelling the tournament another.
The CEO had weighed things up based on the information he had available to him at the time and, as it turned out, much of it was less than comprehensive. He never knew, for instance, that the body was still lying on the ninth fairway when the call came to resume play.


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