AUGUSTA, Ga — Play was suspended a second time at 4:22 p.m. ET Friday during the second round of the 2023 Masters Tournament after three pine trees fell near the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club.
The incident was captured on video during ESPN’s live coverage of the tournament.
“It sounded like a grandstand blew over, super loud,” said Sergio Garcia, 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.”
Patrons in the area quickly scrambled out of the way.
Tree down at the masters?! pic.twitter.com/t30Pm5eoxx
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“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,” said Deshey Thomas, from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. “Luckily we got everyone out of there. We were blessed.”
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All the patrons in the area were able to avoid injury.
“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,” said patron Megan Hill, of Manhattan, New York. “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.”
Hill claimed that no one was hurt. ESPN’s on-site host Scott Van Pelt also reported there were no injuries, which was confirmed by the Augusta Chronicle.
“It fell on my chair,” said Sylvia Martin, who was attending with Jodi Streff, both of Frisco, Texas. “We were sitting under the umbrella because of the pinecones. We were kinda laughing and joking it was raining pinecones and pine needles.
“All of a sudden, the people behind us were paying attention,” Martin continued. She later added, “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.”
It wasn’t long before grounds crews were on site with chainsaws to clear the trees.
An announcement from the clubhouse shortly after horns sounded to stop play said: “There are thunderstorms approaching the area with heavy winds and lightning. Play has been suspended.”
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Earlier in the second round, play was suspended 21 minutes for severe weather in the area.
Rain and wind has been in the forecast for Friday and Saturday.
— Pete P (@peteypalmetto) April 7, 2023