Eisenhower Tree removed from Augusta

The famous Eisenhower Tree at Augusta National, home of the Masters golf tournament, was cut down Sunday because of damage from an ice storm.

"The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept," August National Chairman Billy Payne said. "We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible."

The pine, which sat off the 17th fairway at the famed Georgia course, was named for former President Dwight Eisenhower, who in 1956 asked that the tree be cut down because it kept interfering with his golf shots. The Augusta National board, however, refused Eisenhower's request.

"The Eisenhower Tree is such an iconic fixture and symbol of tradition at Augusta National," said six-time Masters winner Jack 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. Period. 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."

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