Augusta National confirm the Eisenhower Tree has been removed
Last Updated: 15/03/14 3:11pm
Tiger Woods struggles to negotiate the Eisenhower Tree in 2011
The iconic Eisenhower Tree has had to be removed from the Augusta National course after it was damaged during the recent ice storm.
Augusta chairman Billy Payne confirmed that the pine, which caused numerous problems for players at the 17th, had been pulled down over the weekend.
"The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept," Payne said. "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 his 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."
The tree, named after former President Dwight D Eisenhower, was situated to the left of the 17th fairway some 210 yards from the tee, and players were forced to shape their tee shots from left to right to avoid clattering into the branches.
Eisenhower, an Augusta member from 1948 until his death in 1969, campaigned to have the tree removed in 1956 after hitting it several times.
Even six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus encountered problems with the historic pine, and he was sad to hear of it's demise.
"The Eisenhower Tree is such an iconic fixture and symbol of tradition at Augusta National," said Nicklaus. "It was such an integral part of the game and one that will be sorely missed.
"Over the years, it's come into play many, many times on the 17th hole. When I stood on the 17th tee, my first thought, always, was to stay away from Ike's Tree.
"I hit it so many times over the years that I don't care to comment on the names I called myself and the names I might have called the tree. Ike's Tree was a kind choice. But looking back, Ike's Tree will be greatly missed."
Former Open champion David Duval, who narrowly missed out at the Masters on four occasions, added: "That tree made you really pay attention to where you driving it.
"It made for a very narrow tee shot. You either had to go up over it or around it."