Masters 2nd round resumes after storms bring down trees in Augusta

Augusta, Ga. (AP) — The second round of the Masters resumes Saturday at Augusta National.And there was little evidence that three towering pine trees had fallen near the hosts during storms a day earlier, resulting in the suspension of play.

No one was injured by the falling pines, although they crushed several chairs the patrons were sitting on. Three separate 10-by-10-foot areas near the 16th green and 17th tee were roped off Saturday with some wood chips, where workers made quick cuts. Two areas were covered with green gravel and the other with pine straw.

Sergio Garcia teed off on the 17th as he finished his second round Saturday, and the 2017 champion pressed his head against the hosts as he began walking toward his shot to see where the trees once stood. Several workers around the area were still discussing what had happened, and one called it “a miracle” no one was injured or killed.

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“I was standing to the right, it’s close to 17, and lined up for my putt in the back right bunker on 16,” said 1987 champion Larry Mize. “And then all of a sudden, I heard it, I looked around and I saw trees.

“I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my God, people, get out of there,'” Mies said. “Thank goodness nobody got hurt.”

Saturday’s cutters will have to endure more severe weather in the third round. Cold showers were expected to last through the day, and storms could move through eastern Georgia. The forecast for Sunday looks dry.

“This is what it is,” said Fred Couples, 63, who finished his second round Saturday at 1 over, breaking Bernhard Langer’s record as the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters. “Am I going to be happy playing 18 this afternoon? No, I’m an idiot. I’m an old fool. But I am interested in playing.

The early band of Friday’s storms was cleared once for 21 minutes of course. Air horns sounded again at 4:22 p.m., as another set of storms arrived, forcing patrons to evacuate and send soldiers and officers to safety.

After 90 minutes the game was called off for the day.

Before the second trumpet sounds, Three great pines fell slowly Near the 17th tee, about 50 people scattered below them. On the nearby 16th green, Harrison Grove began backing away in surprise at the fallen tree, while on the 15th green, Garcia stopped and slowly watched what was happening.

“We were on the fairway on the 15th. We thought it was the scoreboard or the grandstand,” said Sahit Deegala, playing in his first Masters. “We hope it’s not something that hits anyone.”

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The uprooted pines fell slowly, two of them acting as a third support, and this gave the host below time to get out of the way. But there was a close call with several broken chairs under the fallen trees.

“I was talking to my friends next door and all of a sudden I heard a crack,” said Katie Waits, who attended the second round from Charleston, South Carolina. “There were three trees across the pond, and all of a sudden we saw them fall, and everybody — it was like ants. They were scattered like ants from below. All three fell at the same time. And then I said, ‘Is everybody okay?’ And it was quiet.”

Waits said he saw a woman standing between two fallen trees and heard a man crawling from a few feet below. Like the workers Saturday, Waits called it “absolutely a miracle” that no one was injured.

“The safety and well-being of all who attend the Masters Tournament will always be a top priority,” Augusta National said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the weather today and through the tournament.”

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AP sports writers Doug Ferguson and Paul Newberry contributed to this report.

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AP Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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