Masters 2023: Scary scene unfolds as trees collapse near patrons at Augusta National; play suspended for Friday
AUGUSTA, Ga. — A scary scene unfolded at Augusta National Friday afternoon as multiple trees collapsed on the 17th hole during the second round of the Masters.
The Augusta area was hit with strong and steady gusts of wind Friday, and a storm front caused multiple delays of the competition. Before play was suspended a second time around 4:22 p.m., TV cameras captured towering pine trees falling over to the right of the 16th green, where the group of Min Woo Lee, Larry Mize and Harrison Crowe were playing.
The video shows patrons were close to where the trees hit the ground, with marshals and officials running toward the fallen pines.
Early indication from witnesses is that nobody was injured, though the trees narrowly missed nearby patrons, according to Golf Digest photographers. Several seats were crushed by the trees. Golf Digest photographers captured workers cutting down the stumps of several compromised trunks of the collapsed trees.
Sahith Theegala was on the par-5 15th when the accident happened.
"We were cresting the fairway on 15, coming up over the hill, and heard it and we were like ‘What is that?'" Theegala said on ESPN. "We thought it was like a scoreboard or a grandstand … we were just hoping it wasn’t naything that hit anybody. Yeah it was crazy though. Bang, bang … the tree falling first and the siren.”
Following the suspension of play the property was evacuated.
At 5:45 p.m. Augusta National 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."
The second round has been suspended for the rest of the day. Play will resume Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m.
This post will be updated as the story develops.