Augusta still unsure how to replace Eisenhower Tree

Wed Apr 9, 2014 2:25pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Tiger Woods is not the only icon missing from this year's Masters.

Augusta National's famed Eisenhower Tree, which stood for years on the 17th fairway, was removed after being damaged by an ice storm in February.

The loblolly pine got its name because former U.S. president and club member Dwight Eisenhower hit into the tree so often he campaigned to have it chopped down.

Augusta National officials were so distraught when they realized the tree could not be saved that they issued an obituary.

At a course where every tiniest detail is taken care of, from the perfectly manicured fairways and greens, the ponds and streams and azaleas, the loss of the tree is no trivial matter.

Yet the members are still not sure whether they will replace it.

"We do not yet have a definitive plan as to what, if anything, we will do to the 17th hole beyond this year's tournament," Masters chairman Billy Payne told a news conference on Wednesday.

"We are closely examining play and scoring on the hole this week, and will make a decision after careful observation and consideration."   Continued...

The location on the 17th fairway where the the Eisenhower Tree once stood is now empty after it suffered severe damage in a winter ice storm at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 7, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake