country club of charleston tree

Lightning struck this oak tree by the 18th fairway at the Country Club of Charleston during the U.S. Women's Open on Friday. No injuries were reported. Jeff Hartsell/Staff 

Lightning struck an oak tree along the 18th fairway at the Country Club of Charleston on Friday afternoon during the second round of the U.S. Women's Open.

Play had been stopped at 4:33 p.m. and the James Island course cleared of the 78 players still in action and the spectators when a lightning bolt hit the tree, splitting it almost in half.

No one reported any injuries to the first aid station run by MUSC Health at the course.

"The tree is cooked," said Frank Ford III of the Country Club of Charleston, general chairman for the tournament. "We'll check the integrity of the tree and make sure it's safe."

Security roped off the area around the tree, but it may have to be cut down. It's right next to a walkway along the 18th fairway near a merchandise tent, and large crowds are expected for the tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

Reach Jeff Hartsell at 843-937-5596. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC

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