Golf: Dubai Masters suspended after death of caddie Maximillian Zechmann

Dubai (AFP) - The first round of the Dubai Ladies Masters, the season-ending championship of the Ladies European Tour, was suspended on Wednesday after the death of a caddie.

Austrian Maximillian Zechmann, a former caddie on the European Tour, collapsed on the 13th fairway and received on-site treatment from the medical team before being 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," said Ladies European Tour CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh.

"On behalf of our membership, we offer heartfelt condolences to the individual's family and loved ones."

The 55-year-old Zechmann is understood to have retired in 2014 and settled in Dubai.

Among his former players are Austrian Marcus Brier.

He is survived by his wife Elinor and three sons.

American Beth Allen, who is assured of winning the Order of Merit this week, said: "I 100 per cent agree with the decision that was made out of respect for him and his family. I don't think anybody has any qualms about it."

Round one play will resume on Thursday and the tournament will now be played over 54 holes.

Among those who had started their rounds, the start of which was delayed by an hour because of fog, were England's Floretyna Parker, who was seven-under par after nine holes, and Tiger Woods' niece Cheyenne Woods, who was second at four-under par after six.