Tributes paid after caddie Max Zechmann collapses and dies

Frances Anne-Lise Caudal is consoled by the tournament director Michael Wood in Dubai. Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images
Frances Anne-Lise Caudal is consoled by the tournament director Michael Wood in Dubai. Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images
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Tributes have flooded in for caddie Max Zechmann after he collapsed and died at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. Zechmann, who had carried the bag in European Tour victories for German Marcel Siem and Austria’s Markus Brier, was working for France’s Anne-Lise Caudal this week having retired from the European Tour.

They were only four holes into the opening round, when Zechmann collapsed on the 13th fairway and was taken to hospital where he later died.

Scotland’s Carly Booth, who was playing in the same group, tweeted: “Tough start today for our group to experience something so horrendous.”

Siem wrote on social media: “A true gentleman and friend left us. He was always smiling and helping everybody where and whenever he could. We miss you.”

Ian Poulter, who is playing in the European Tour event in Hong Kong this week, tweeted: “Very sad to see the passing of another caddie. Done many rounds with Big Max. #RIP thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

Play was immediately halted and will resume today with the tournament being played as a 54-hole event.

“A minute’s silence will be held at 12:00 tomorrow in memory of Maximilian Zechmann. Our thoughts are with his loved ones #RIP” said a tweet from the Ladies European Tour.

LET chief executive Ivan Khodabakhsh, speaking immediately after the incident, said: “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,” he said.

“On behalf of our membership, we offer heartfelt condolences to the individual’s family and loved ones.”