This week the European Tour saw its 1500th official take place, The Madeira Islands Open - Portugal - BPI, hosted at the Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra. Traditionally this tournament has been an exciting one of the European Tour as it opens it doors to players from the lower categories, offering them an opportunity for stardom and to gain that illusive place amongst the European Tour's elite.
After a weather interrupted week which didn’t see the players complete their first rounds until day three (Saturday) the tournament was reduced to a straight 36 hole shootout with a round one cut. Jose Maria Zamora, The European Tour’s Tournament Director, said: “Due to the very long delays throughout this tournament, a decision was made to reduce the tournament to 36 holes, with a cut after 18 holes.
“We have made a decision which will give us the best possible chance of a satisfactory conclusion to what has been an extremely long and trying week for everyone so far.
“The European Tour’s regulations state that it is at the Tournament Director’s discretion to make a decision in order to ensure the conclusion to the tournament.
“We hope now that the weather will be more favourable and we can enjoy an exciting climax to The European Tour’s 1,500th event.”
Despite the weather interruptions, Champions of Golf professional Scott Henry found himself sitting on top of the leader board after an opening round of five under par, which included eight birdies. Unfortunately Scott then had a significant wait before he was able to begin his final round alongside Englishman Daniel Brooks.
The lead switched hands between Brooks and Henry several times but when Brooks went three shots clear with only four holes to play many considered the tournament over however, Scott battled to finish with three birdies over the closing stretch to force a playoff. Despite good memories having just finished the 18th hole in regulation play Scott was unable to replicate his heroics and a par from Brooks was good enough to claim the title after a missed par putt from Scott.
Despite a disappointing finish to the week, the 2nd place finish for Scott gets him into the Open de Espana next week on the European Tour where he will of course be looking to go one better and challenge for yet another trophy.
Fellow Champions of Golf professionals Jason Palmer and Scott Arnold also competed in Madeira, both making the cut and finishing in tied 24th position and tied 16th position respectfully.
Highlights from the Madeira Islands Open can be seen on Sky Sports 4 on Wednesday 14th May at 7.30pm.
Unfortunately the news from Portugal was not all good, playing the final hole of his second round, Alastair Forsyth’s caddie, Iain ‘Mac’ McGregor, collapsed and sadly passed away after a heart attack.
Forsyth admitted it was one of the toughest things he has ever experienced and spoke in glowing terms of the Zimbabwean.
“Everybody is in shock," said Forsyth. “To see that happen to someone in front of your eyes - I don’t know how or when you get over that.
“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’s 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.”
Our thoughts go out to Iain’s family, Alastair and all at the European Tour.