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Earthquake shakes up Barclays

The 2011 golf season has seen some earth-shaking events at the major tournaments, but never more literally than on Tuesday afternoon.

A 5.8-magnititude earthquake in Virginia yesterday sent tremors lasting for 20-30 seconds along the east coast, right into the Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey – the site for Thursday’s Barclays.

The course, clubhouse and other structures did not sustain any noticeable damage but were enough to get the practising players talking.

“I felt like I was back in Northern California,” said Ricky Barnes. “It’s a good thing I wasn’t hitting or I would have whiffed.”

Steve Marino, an Oklahoma-native, was experiencing an earthquake for the first time.

“I didn’t know what it was at first,” he said. “It was crazy.”

The Plainfield club is approximately 300 miles from the quake's epicenter and host to the first FedEx Cup playoff tournament.

Heath Slocum, the 2009 Barclays winner, was practicing his chip shot when the tremor struck said he felt like he was going to pass out, but on the whole the players reacted humorously to the events.

“Was that an earthquake I just felt on the range? Either that or Gary Woodland is thumping out 2 irons!” tweeted Justin Rose.

Similarly, Jason Dufner, recent runner up at the PGA Championship, wrote on his Twitter: “Earthquake in Jersey? Or someone trying to give me a shake down??”

With no damage to the course or the surrounds, the tremors are not thought to affect Thursday’s start of play.

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