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Golf Australia Express : April 2014
the masters the end of a royal pine in the grass AUGUSTA'S EISENHOWER TREE YIKES! Y OU might not notice it at first glance, but there'll be something missing at this year's Masters. As far as high profile casualties go it might not carry the same weight as Tiger Woods' absence, but for golfing purists, it's every bit as big a loss. The famous Eisenhower Tree is no more. Killed where it stood on the 17th fairway by an icy Georgia blast after decades of faithful service. The giant tree — named in honour of former US President Dwight Eisenhower, who despised it so much that he attempted to have it removed in 1956 — was placed precariously on the left side of the fairway and directly in the players' driving line off the tee. We shudder to think how many thousands of rounds it ruined, however, some memorable moments under its menacing branches spring to mind... The Eisenhower Tree may well have sparked the beginning of the end for Tiger Woods. Though world No.1 Woods' major aspirations have been on the decline since before 2011, that year he found himself in the pinestraw underneath Ike's tree. Stooping low and swivelling to play the shot, Woods injured both his left knee and Achilles tendon and was sidelined for months, during which time he slipped to No.58 in the world. TIGER TROUBLE Words by Adrian Ballantyne