TV Viewers Accuse Collin Morikawa Of Cheating At The Masters As Questions Loom

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The entirety of the golf world tuned in to watch the opening round of the 2023 edition of The Masters on Thursday.

And that may not be good news for one Collin Morikawa.

Morikawa, the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 Open Championship winner, is one of golf’s brightest young stars. The 26-year-old is both an elite ball striker and remarkably charismatic.

With the potential for rain rolling in and Morikawa’s fifth place finish a year ago, many tabbed him as a favorite to take home a green jacket in 2023.

Early on, he repaid their confidence with a pair of birdies in the first seven holes to get to 2-under and a tie for 11th before leader Viktor Hovland at 7-under.

But his start was not without controversy.

Dan Back of tweeted a video of Morikawa marking a ball on one of the greens early in his opening round.

The video appeared to show Morikawa repositioning his ball somewhere other than its initial position, even if only slightly.

Ummmm….Pretty sure Morikawa cheated,” Back said in the caption to the video.

The tweet immediately blew up and fans had all sorts of comments about Morikawa’s actions.

Brain teaser here folks. If the marker is put down 2.5” behind the ball, then pick up the ball and put it back down in the SAME spot, then move the marker .5” behind the ball, how many inches did he illegally move his ball forward,” one fan asked.

“This was my go to in high school golf (obviously). But I prob wouldn’t suggest doing it at the masters,” another said.

Dan Rapaport of the “Full Swing” podcast offered up another possible explanation.

Collin is the furthest thing from a cheater. Almost certainly no intent here. Ball was probably oscillating and moved mark back a bit to give himself room to get maneuver it and get it to stay. He never moved the ball closer to the hole. Still probably a penalty,” he said.

Morikawa has not been penalized as of the time of writing. But that doesn’t mean he’s out of the clear. In 2013, Tiger Woods was penalized two strokes the day after he committed an illegal drop following a shot into the water.

UPDATE: Morikawa was not penalized and even took to Twitter to further explain the situation.

“Here’s the full video,” he said. “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.

So there you have it. Collin Morikawa, not a cheater. Get that player impact payment, Collin.