Strong winds during the Masters led to a serious incident by the 16th green
A handful of patrons are “lucky to be alive” after three trees were downed by heavy winds at Augusta National during the second round of the 87th Masters.
The tournament had already been suspended once, but when play restarted the weather once again took a turn for the worse and strong gusts caused problems for players and fans alike.
The trees fell between the 16th green and 17th tee as the group of Min Woo Lee, Larry Mize and amateur Harrison Crowe putted out on the par-3, while he group in front – Kevin Kisner, Louis Oosthuizen and Adrian Meronk – were on the 18th tee.
NCG spoke to two fans who witnessed it happen.
“We heard a huge cracking noise, then some shouting, then the trees came down,” one said. “Trees were falling right where people were standing – they’re lucky to be alive.
“It was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
A video posted on Twitter later by Action Network writer Collin Wilson appears to show trees falling either side of patrons.
Masters debutant Sahith Theegala also saw the incident unfold. “We were cresting the fairway on 15, coming up over the hill, and heard it,” he told ESPN. “We were like, ‘What is that?’ We thought it was a scoreboard or a grandstand [and] we were just hoping it wasn’t anything that hit anybody.
“It was crazy though. Bang! Bang! The tree falling first and the siren.”
NCG reached out to Augusta National for information, and they confirmed no one was hurt in the incident. It was also confirmed that it was wind, and not a lightning strike, that brought the tree down.
They later released the following statement: “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.”
Inclement weather delayed play not once but twice on Friday, and play was eventually suspended for the day at 5.46pm local time.
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