'A Miracle That Nobody Got Hurt' - Players React After Trees Fall At Augusta National

Players thought a grandstand may have collapsed due to the noise of the three huge pine trees that fell during the Masters second round

A tree that fell down at Augusta National
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While there are plenty of storylines in this year's Masters already, the talk of the town Friday evening and even Saturday morning was trees. More specially, the three trees that suddenly fell down near the 17th tee right before play was suspended late in the second round. 

Thankfully, it didn't hit anyone, despite videos showing spectators jumping out of the way. There was nobody on tee either yet. And perhaps because of a previous weather delay just about an hour earlier, the tee wasn't packed because many of the patrons who had left the course either didn't return or were just making their way back to the course. 

But Larry Mize, who was in the process of completing his 40th Masters tournament, wasn't far off and he got a pretty good look at what happened. He was just off the 16th green, right by the back right bunker lining up his putt, when he suddenly heard a prolonged loud noise. He was "shocked and scared" from what he witnessed.

"I looked around, and I saw the trees," said Mize, who was playing with Australians Min Woo Lee and Harrison Crowe on Friday. "I've never seen anything like that on the golf course.

"I've seen branches fall, big branches. I remember being at Spyglass one time out in California when a big branch fell, which was scary, but nothing like this. Thank God that nobody got hurt. It's just a miracle that nobody got hurt."

Indeed, patrons scrambled and some were screaming as the trees came thundering down. And you didn't have to be right next to the near disaster to hear it. 

Fallen trees in front of a scoreboard at Augusta National for the 2023 Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Patrick Reed heard it all the way from the 15th tee. 

"It was nuts," said Reed, who was in a group with Canadian Adam Svensson and American Sahith Theegala. "It sounded like a grandstand fell over or something. We couldn't tell."

Seamus Power of Ireland, who was paired with Bubba Watson and Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira of Argentina, heard the commotion all the way from the par-5 13th.

"Oh, yeah, we were walking up 13 fairway and we heard like the screams and it sounded like a grandstand (fell) to us, which was really strange.

"But yeah everyone saw those videos last night," he said. "I'm just so happy that everyone was okay and unhurt, which was a shocking. I mean, you saw the mark on ground even across 17 there."

Whether or not weather was a factor in the trees being uprooted is not clear. The wind had started to blow, and temperatures were dropping when the trees fell, but pine trees have shallow root systems, so it's not terribly uncommon for them fall down occasionally. 

Augusta National crews worked quickly to clean up the mess after the play was called for the final time on Friday at 4:22 p.m., due to "inclement weather conditions," according to an official announcement.

A few fenced of areas after a tree fell

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When asked if he could still see the damage caused by the trees when he got to the 17th tee Saturday morning to complete his second round, Power said it looked the crew did a pretty good job of repairing the spot. 

"It was like the mark, where the trees had come up, was pretty well covered, but it was obviously a dent in the ground going right across," said Power, who made the cut at 1-over par 145.  "But like it was pretty impressive. The lack of whatever you call it, imprint that was there... Yeah it's amazing. I'm glad everyone's okay."

Mike Bailey
Contributing writer

Mike has worked in the golf industry for nearly 30 years with full-time staff positions at publications and websites that include PGA Magazine, the Golfweek Group, and GolfChannel.com. He is currently writing for several different sites and magazines and serves as a contributing equipment writer for Golf Monthly, focusing on irons, shoes and the occasional training aid or piece of technical equipment. 

Mike has experienced a number of highlights in his career, including covering several Ryder Cups, PGA Championships and the Masters, writing instruction pieces and documenting the best places for golf travel for more than a decade.

Mike carries a 7.6 handicap index and has two hole-in-ones, the most recent coming in February 2022. A resident of Texas for more than 40 years, Mike plays out of Memorial Park Golf Course (home of the Houston Open on the PGA Tour).