A number of golf fans rushed to social media to label Collin Morikawa a "cheat" during round one of The Masters, but despite some incredible claims the two-time major champion was well within his right to act how he did on the 6th green.
The Masters commentary team covering holes 4, 5 and 6 wanted to take another look at the actions of Morikawa as he lined up his birdie putt on the green.
As the camera panned to Morikawa, he was touching his golf ball, which was several inches in front of his ball marker.
It led to instant confusion for viewers as to why he was suddenly moving his ball marker from several inches behind his ball to right behind his golf ball.
"Pretty sure Morikawa cheated," tweeted one golf fan, to which No Laying Up's editorial director Kevin Van Valkenburg replied: "Not good!"
No. He marked and when he replaced the ball it rolled to a new spot. Once you mark, you own that spot, so he was simply replacing his ball to where he originally marked it.— John Wood (@Johnwould) April 6, 2023
The video quickly went viral and a number of golf fans seemingly lost their mind.
Collin Morikawa just pulled a “Patrick Reed”— Tour Golf (@TuorGolf) April 6, 2023
HEY @TheMasters @PGATOUR @USGA— John From Wrigleyville (JFW) (@johnfromwrigley) April 6, 2023
Pretty sure @collin_morikawa has violated Rule 14.2 Section B … correct me if I’m wrong … marking ball inappropriately/ahead of original spot!!
Caught in 4K presented by @IBM
Let’s assess the situation.
cc: @JohnClaussen1 pic.twitter.com/ImwTYBcec7
Like all things though, context is hugely important before rushing to conclusions.
Under the rules of golf, Morikawa was completely entitled to do what he did because his ball had rolled to a new spot on the green.
Morikawa's ball was in play and it had moved when he took his marker off.
He then replaced his mark in its original position, no closer to the hole.
This was clarified by former PGA Tour caddie and on-course reporter John Wood:
"No. He marked and when he replaced the ball it rolled to a new spot. Once you mark, you own that spot, so he was simply replacing his ball to where he originally marked it."
Morikawa is at 3-under par.
Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Brooks Koepka lead the way after 18 holes on 7-under par.
Rahm's opening 65 is the lowest 18-hole score after opening with a double-bogey or worse in Masters Tournament history.
Keep up to date with all the latest scores and updates with our LIVE Masters Blog!