Collin Morikawa was 1 under through five holes Thursday during the opening round of the 2023 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
After hitting his tee shot on the par-3 sixth to 37 feet below the hole, an apparent controversy arose as a video quickly made its way around social media showing Morikawa marking his ball.
In the video, you can see where his mark was behind the ball, then you can see Morikawa move his mark closer to the ball.
Had the ball moved prior to that?
After his round, Morikawa said that it did.
“Yeah, the ball moved, and then I moved it back,” he said. “Pretty standard now. Pretty routine in our rules book thankfully.”
According to Rule 13.1d of the U.S. Golf Association guidelines, a ball that has moved must be replaced to the original location, which it appears Morikawa tried to do.
Watch the full clip below:
🚨 Potential rules violation by Collin Morikawa 👀 #TheMasters pic.twitter.com/ggN4KmLTvC
— NUCLR GOLF (@NUCLRGOLF) April 6, 2023
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Morikawa made par on the hole, then birdied the next one to get to 2 under. He signed for a 3-under 69.
“Look, if I showed up to this course and it was firm and fast, I probably would never put my putter down because you never know when that’s going to just trickle on. Now it’s was on a little mound and moved and nothing wrong with that,” he said.
After answering some other questions about his round, the topic of the ball mark on No. 6 came up again.
Q. Did anyone, before you signed your scorecard, bring up the marking on 6 just to ask you what happened there?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: No. Is that a big talk?
Q. It’s blowing up on social media.
Q. They cut the video from when you were crouched down moving it. Instead of showing you addressing it and the ball rolling back.
COLLIN MORIKAWA: So they what? Good. Bring that PIP up. Blow me up, guys. What happened? Just so I know.
Q. It’s on Twitter. It’s someone taking like a video of the TV, and she start the video when you’re already crouched down with the marker behind and moving the ball.
COLLIN MORIKAWA: With the marker like this far behind. Because I threw it down because I was going to throw the marker back. I’m not fine. There’s no rules official. You guys are freaking me out here. I’m going to get hunted down.
Q. You’re good.
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Good. PIP’s going up.
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