Collin Morikawa Rules Incident Sets Social Media Alight

A clip of the two-time Major winner replacing his ball on a green during the Masters first round divided social media

Screengrab of Collin Morikawa on the putting green replacing his ball
(Image credit: Twitter/

A video of Collin Morikawa marking and replacing his ball on the 6th hole during The Masters opening round sent social media wild on Thursday.

The clip showed the two-time Major champion appearing to move his marker when replacing his ball on the green, with the clip quickly gaining hundreds of thousands of views and plenty of comments alleging foul play.

Morikawa was seen picking his ball up and delicately replacing it on the slippery and sloping Augusta National green before moving his marker ever-so-slightly forward.

A later video showed the full process and it appeared that his ball rolled backwards as he addressed it and he was merely replacing it back to where it originally was. Paul McGinley confirmed on Sky Sports that the incident had been looked at and Morikawa was given the all clear.

Watch the clips:

If Morikawa was deemed to have not replaced his ball to the exact spot, he would have received a two stroke penalty under Rule 14: Procedures for Ball: Marking, Lifting and Cleaning; Replacing on Spot; Dropping in Relief Area; Playing from Wrong Place.

Rule 13.1d also states if a ball moves on the putting green then it "must always be replaced on its original spot, regardless of what caused it to move. The ball must be played from its new spot only if the ball had not been lifted and replaced before it moved."

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV