The first round of play at the Ladies Masters tournament in Dubai has been suspended following the death of one of the caddies. The tournament is now to be played out over 54 holes.
Play was suspended at the Ladies European Tour event on Wednesday after Max Zechmann, who was caddying for French golfer Anne-Lise Caudal, suffered a heart attack on the 13th fairway. Organizers said that he was "immediately attended to by the on-site medical team" and "was taken to hospital where he was later pronounced dead."
"Everyone at the Ladies European Tour is extremely shocked and saddened today by this sudden death and therefore we have taken the decision to suspend first round play as a mark of respect," the Tour's CEO, Ivan Khodabakhsh said in a statement posted on the Dubai Ladies Masters website. "On behalf of our membership, we offer heartfelt condolences to the individual's family and loved ones."
Members of the golfing community, such as the European Ryder Cup captain for 2018, Thomas Bjorn, took to social media to express their sorrow.
Max Zechmann, an Austrian, was one of the most experienced caddies in professional golf and had previously worked on the men's tour with players that included Germany's Alex Cejka and Marcel Siem.
The first round of play at the Dubai Ladies Masters is to be completed on Thursday and the tournament will now be played over just 54 holes instead of the usual 72.