Photo Credit: Michael Madrid / USA TODAY NETWORK
Trees fall, no injuries reported as Masters suspends play for day
Three trees fell near the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday afternoon during the second round of the Masters, with no reported injuries but a suspension of play for the remainder of the day.
The trees appeared to fall near multiple patrons, with ESPN reporting that no one was hurt. Augusta National maintenance staff were using chainsaws to remove the trees by 5 p.m., according to media reports.
Windy, rainy conditions had led to a brief suspension of play earlier Friday. The grounds were again evacuated after the second suspension at 4:22 p.m. ET due to inclement weather conditions, the Masters announced.
In announcing at 5:44 p.m. that play has been suspended for the rest of Friday, Augusta National Golf Club confirmed that “no injuries were reported from three trees that were blown over to the left of the No. 17 tee due to wind.
“The safety and well-being of everyone attending the Masters Tournament will always be the top priority of the Club, which will continue to closely monitor weather today and through the Tournament,” the statement said.
Play will resume Saturday morning at 7 a.m. CT.
“I was sitting, looking, waiting for the next group to come up to the tee and it fell maybe 8-10 chairs to our left,” patron Megan Hill of New York City told The Augusta Chronicle. “I stood up and screamed and thought, ‘Is it going to fall on me? It fell to the left of us and it was so scary.
“If the wind had been blowing a slightly different direction, we might have got hit.”
“It sounded like a grandstand blew over, super loud,” said golfer Sergio Garcia of Spain, who was on the green at the 15th. “Two trees fell down from the roots and took another one on the way down. People scattered around them but there was one woman that the trees fell around her and somehow she didn’t get hurt. Thank God.”
Sylvia Martin of Frisco, Texas, told The Augusta Chronicle that one of the trees fell on her chair. She was attending with Jodi Streff, and they sat under an umbrella because of falling pinecones.
“We were kinda laughing and joking it was raining pinecones and pine needles,” Martin told The Augusta Chronicle. “All of a sudden, the people behind us were paying attention.
“We heard cracking. Everyone started running, so we were trying to get over the rope (into the fairway). We had nowhere to go because people were behind us.”
Martin, Streff and others gave credit to patron Deshey Thomas of Fuquay-Varina, N.C., for alerting others to get away from the trees as they were about to fall.
“Pinecones were hitting us in the back, we turned around and looked up and heard a huge cracking noise and the tree basically crushed 10 chairs that were sitting there,” Thomas told the newspaper. “Luckily we got everyone out of there. We were blessed.”
–Field Level Media contributed to this article