Collin Morikawa was the subject of a social media debate during the first round of The Masters. Eagle eyed viewers spotted the former Open winner appearing to move his marker forward and then replacing his ball on the green.
A video clip of the television coverage from the incident was posted to social media where it has been viewed almost four million times in less than 24 hours.
🚨Morikawa on the ball marking Twitter storm: “Yeah, the ball moved, & then I moved it back,” he said. “Pretty standard now. Pretty routine in our rules book thankfully.”
When told about it going viral, he said “Good. Bring that PIP up. Blow me up, guys.”pic.twitter.com/65M22YBcTJ
— NUCLR GOLF (@NUCLRGOLF) April 6, 2023
This video sent Twitter into a fit of chaos and Morikawa would have faced a two shot penalty if he was found to have not replaced his ball to the exact spot where it landed.
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One thing which the TV coverage failed to show was that Collin Morikawa's ball had in fact rolled back when he originally went to play the shot and that the two-time major winner only moved the ball to where it ended up.
Morikawa also asked playing partner Matt Fitzpatrick whether he was happy with his actions on the green and the Englishman was certain that there was no breach of rules on the 6th hole.
Collin Morikawa reacts to cheating accusations
Speaking after hitting a three-under par round of 69, Morikawa helped clear up the confusion around the situation, saying that it it's "pretty routine in our rules book thankfully."
Collin Morikawa said:
Yeah, the ball moved and then I moved it back. Pretty standard now. Pretty routine in our rule books thankfully
After being informed that the clip of the incident had gone viral on social media, the 26-year-old welcomed the attention.
Good. Bring that PIP up. Blow me up guys.
Morikawa then took to Twitter last night to clear up any confusion still surrounding him with cheating allegations.
Here’s the full video…Ball moved as I addressed it, so I threw the coin down in no specific place, replaced the ball to the original spot and then moved my marker to the original spot (from where I threw it). I play by the rules, I promise. https://t.co/HQhIv68vKE
— Collin Morikawa (@collin_morikawa) April 7, 2023
With golfers at The Masters having their every move around the course being broadcast around the world, there would certainly be no escaping from punishment had Morikawa illegally placed his ball.