President Obama’s foursome at Farm Neck Golf Club on Martha’s Vineyard was at the epicenter of speculation about who felt what where when an earthquake struck Virginia on Tuesday afternoon. But while the First Hacker — vacationing on the Massachusetts island — may or may not have missed a couple of putts because of the tremblor, PGA Tour golfers at New Jersey’s Plainfield Country Club, site of The Barclays, this week’s first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, were quick to react when the ground shifted under their feet.
“Just went through my first earthquake,” Zach Johnson tweeted about the quake that measured 5.8 on the Richter scale, according to the Associated Press, and sent tremors throughout New York, New Jersey, and as far north as Boston. “Gotta believe it wasnt a big one here in NJ. But, it freaked me out. #kneesbuckled”
Last year’s FedEx Cup winner Jim Furyk was in the middle of an interview about his use of a long putter when the shaking floor caused him to pause.
Heath Slocum, The Barclays winner in 2009, was on the practice range when the earth moved. “I feel like I’m going to pass out,” he told Ping tour manager Matt Rollins, according to golf.com.
Slocum, like many of his peers, took to Twitter shortly thereafter. “Earthquake while on the course in New Jersey,” he tweeted. “Now that’s something I don’t experience everyday.”
Justin Rose wondered if the shaking came from one of the tour’s heavy hitters. “Was that an earthquake I just felt on the range in New Jersey!!” Rose tweeted. “Either that or Gary Woodland is thumping out 2 irons on range!!”
As for the president, the quake hit just as he was about to start a round of golf on the 6,807-yard (from the tips), par-72 Geoffrey Cornish-designed course in Oak Bluffs, according to the AP. White House officials granted pool reporters access to the presidential party practicing on the putting green. Obama apparently missed a putt from several feet and then whiffed again when he attempted to tap it in.
With journalists covering the commander in chief reporting they felt effects from one of the strongest quakes ever recorded on the east coast, there was no word on whether Obama blamed his 3-putt on the seismic event. The earthquake was centered northwest of Richmond and caused several injuries but none serious, according to the AP.
(Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. Check her out on the Waggle Room, Boston Golf Examiner, National Golf Examiner, and GottaGoGolf websites. You may also follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer.)WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?