AUGUSTA, Ga. — On Saturday morning, three roped-off areas surrounded where trees fell at hole No. 17 on Friday at Augusta National Golf Club during the 2023 Masters. Damage was visible between the professional and members tee boxes, where long marks in the ground ran parallel to each other.
Gone were the roots and dirt that were dug up from the pines that crashed down onto patron chairs lining the tee box. An absorbent compound used along patron walkways filled the holes where two of the trees stood. Pine straw covered the now-empty location of a third tree.
There were no injuries in the incident, Augusta National confirmed in a statement.
When gates opened Saturday, patrons flocked to the spot, more to watch players resume their second round of play than reflect on yesterday’s stunning scenario.
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“We’re not concerned at all,” said Devon Alton of Toronto as he set up chairs along the tee box. “We’re going to stay right here. We’re pretty confident about it. When you’re here, you’re here to watch some great golf and you don’t care too much about that stuff.”
Augusta National grounds crew began cutting the trees within a half hour of their fall. Fifteen hours, and a few markings later, it was almost like it never occurred.
Alton and friend Sarah Greco made the drive from Canada to be on the grounds. After seeing the moment on television, they were fascinated on Saturday by the cleanup.
“We were saying, ‘It’s going to be like we’ll come here and not know that anything had happened,’” said Greco. “They’ll clean it up so quickly. It’s impressive.”
Patron Masters badges claim no liability for injury on the course and patrons assume “all risk and danger arising from attendance.”
With little concern about other trees coming down, patrons hurried to set up their chairs in the rain when the gates opened at 8 a.m.
“We knew we were coming here today, we were kind of like, ‘Oh that’s really scary,’ but you’re concerned about the safety of people,” said Monica Bitrick of Aiken, South Carolina. “We’ll see what happens here today. We’re (not worried), we’ve got the life insurance and the beneficiaries are ready to go. So we’re set.”
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