Play was suspended for the second time at the 87th Masters Tournament on Friday after two large pine trees were knocked down near the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that the trees were likely knocked over due to high winds and stormy weather in Augusta, Georgia. According to an alert from the Masters, second-round play was suspended at 4:22 p.m. “due to inclement weather conditions,” adding that the grounds were “evacuated.”
The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that rain was moving into Augusta throughout Friday afternoon and evening, bringing a chance of thunderstorms with wind speeds from 14 to 16 mph.
Multiple patrons at the event said that no fans were injured by the falling trees, according to The Augusta Chronicle, which spoke to some of the patrons sitting near the site. August National also confirmed that there were no injuries, according to a statement posted by the Masters on Twitter.
A video of one of the trees falling was shown on Twitter by Scott Abraham, sports anchor at WJLA in Washington, D.C. The pine appears to fall near multiple fans gathered around the 17th hole. Abraham commented along with the 18-second clip, “Holy smokes, this is scary.”
“A massive tree just went down due to the winds,” he added. “I hope nobody was hurt.”
This just happened at the Masters.
Holy smokes, this is scary.
A massive tree just went down due to the winds. I hope nobody was hurt. pic.twitter.com/JV3ev0Ht5n
— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) April 7, 2023
Megan Hill, a patron at Augusta National, told the Chronicle that one of the pine trees fell “maybe eight to 10 chairs to our left.”
“I stood up and screamed and thought, ‘Is it going to fall on me?” Hill said. “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.”
Another patron, Deshey Thomas, was credited by some people who spoke to the Chronicle for alerting others as the tree was 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 paper. “Luckily we got everyone out of there. We are blessed.”
AP said that there was no sign of rain when play was suspended, but there was a threat of lightning in the area. Friday’s first weather delay lasted 21 minutes before the players were allowed to resume play.
Augusta National said in its statement posted Friday that the second round of play was suspended for the rest of the day, and play will resume at 8 a.m. Saturday.
“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 read.
The Masters is the first major tournament of the 2023 PGA Tour season. Eighty-nine invitations were sent, as well as one spot reserved for Corey Conners, winner of last weekend’s Valero Texas Open.
At the time play was suspended, Brooks Koepka was leading in the clubhouse at 12 under par after completing all 36 holes.
Sign from above to use the 2 wood on that hole?
The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
Never have I seen a pine fall like that, wind usually snaps off top only..