Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, confirmed today that the recent ice storm caused irreparable damage to the Eisenhower Tree, resulting in the loss of most major branches. Accordingly, the tree was removed this weekend.
On Sunday, Payne offered the following statement:
“Like so many of our family, friends and neighbors in this community, Augusta National Golf Club has been busy cleaning up after the historic ice storm this week. Everyone affected remains in our hearts and prayers, and we likewise hope for a speedy and complete recovery for all.
“The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept. We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible.
“We have begun deliberations of the best way to address the future of the 17th hole and to pay tribute to this iconic symbol of our history – rest assured, we will do both appropriately.
“I can report that the golf course sustained no major damage otherwise. We are now open for Member play and we will be unaffected in our preparations for the 2014 Masters Tournament.”