Masters patrons lucky to escape injury as three trees fall during second round

Patrons were lucky to escape injury after three giant trees fell on the Augusta National course during the second round in the 87th Masters.
Course officials look over fallen trees on the 17th hole during the second round of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Picture: Patrick Smith/Getty Images.Course officials look over fallen trees on the 17th hole during the second round of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Picture: Patrick Smith/Getty Images.
Course officials look over fallen trees on the 17th hole during the second round of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Picture: Patrick Smith/Getty Images.

The trees came down in an area between the 16th green and 17th tee just as a predicted weather front started to hit the season’s opening major at the Georgia venue.

Television footage captured the scary moment, which happened as Ryder Cup legend Sergio Garcia was in a group on the 16th green, as the giant pine trees crashed to the ground.

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“Good grief, watch out,” exclaimed a TV commentator as the drama unfolded, with patrons rushing over to see if anyone had been injured. Though it looked as though one patron had been, a message quickly started to spread that there had been no casualties and that was subsequently confirmed in a statement.

It read: “Augusta National Golf Club can confirm 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. We will continue to closely monitor weather today and through the tournament.”

The trees around that part of the course are believed to be Loblolly Pines, which can grow to 98-115 feet in height. They came down just as play was about to be suspended for a second time during the afternoon due to inclement weather and that duly led to the action ending prematurely for the day.

With thirty-nine players – around half the field still to complete their second circuit – play will resume at 1pm UK time on Saturday. American Brooks Koepka leads in the clubhouse on 12-under, three shots ahead of Spaniard Jon Rahm, who has nine holes to complete.

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