AP PHOTOS: Masters crews make quick work of fallen pines

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Patrons move away from two trees that blew over on the 17th hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday, April 7, 2023, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta National crews made quick work disposing of the three towering pine trees that fell near the 17th tee late Friday afternoon during the second round of Masters, forcing postponement of play.

All that remained from the uprooted trees Saturday morning, some 18 hours later, was three separate 10-by-10 foot roped off areas and some small wood chips from where workers cut up the trees before hauling them away and filling the holes with dirt. Two of the areas were covered with green gravel and another with pine straw.

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After second round play resumed, Sergio Garcia strained his head peering over patrons after hitting his tee shot on 17 hoping to catch a glimpse of where the trees once stood.

“I was standing on the right side, which is near 17, right by the back right bunker on 16 lining up my putt,” 1987 champion Larry Mize said. “Then all of a sudden, I heard it, and I looked around, and I saw the trees.

“I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, people, get out of there,’” Mize said. “Thank goodness no one was hurt.”

Several workers around the area Saturday morning were still discussing what had happened with one calling it “miracle” that no one was injured or killed.

Despite what happened, dozens of spectators walked past, paying little attention to the dozens of pines — many around 16 to 24 inches in diameters and at least 50 feet high — still standing. Some simply passed through on their way to other destinations while others watched players tee off at 17 or the action on the nearby 16th green.

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