Collin Morikawa blasts PGA Tour rules official for not meeting him on time

Collin Morikawa gives his side of the story after being docked two strokes before the final round of the Hero World Challenge.

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 4 Dec 2023
Collin Morikawa blasts PGA Tour rules official for not meeting him on time

Collin Morikawa has revealed his frustration at PGA Tour rules official Stephen Cox not meeting him on time in the locker room to talk to him about his eventual two-stroke penalty at Tiger Woods' Hero World Challenge.

The official PGA Tour communications department confirmed two-time major champion Morikawa had fallen foul of the rules with a statement posted at 5.14pm on Sunday December 3. 

Morikawa was said to have been given the penalty for breaching Model Local Rule G-11 which restricts the use of green-reading materials

The Tour said the breach occurred during Morikawa's third round on Albany's fourth hole. 

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Morikawa had recorded a bogey on the hole but it was later changed to a seven.

He therefore started the fourth and final round at 8-under par instead of 10-under. 

While Morikawa told reporters he was "not going to fight" the decision to penalise him two strokes, he did express frustration at rules official Cox taking his time to inform him of the decision in the locker room. 

Morikawa, who went on to card a final-round 68 to finish solo 7th on 12-under par, said: 

"To be honest, I didn't know I was eight back until 25 minutes before I was teeing off. J.J. (caddie) got a text from Stephen Cox in the morning. He didn't let me know because he just didn't want me to worry about anything. Then we started warming up and about 45 minutes left in my warmup, that's when he got another text from Stephen to say meet in the locker room. We go there and we're looking for him and he's nowhere to be found and that's just more frustrating on my part because, look, at the end of the day, like just be direct. Like we're too much back and forth with everything in today's golf world, right? Just be direct and tell me like am I playing, am I not playing? Just give it to me, right? Kind of going around the bush. Look, I get it, no one wants to hurt anyone's feelings and it is what it is."

Morikawa added:

"Look, I'm not going to fight it. If I broke the rules, I broke the rules and that's on me, I have to take it. I was six back. I was actually eight back. You know, it's not like eight back's doable that often, but at the end of the day I just wanted to finish out 2023 on a good note. It's been a long day though since that's happened. I know how J.J. feels and I feel for him because he does such a tremendous job. It's just not the way we wanted to finish out 2023, but a lot to look forward to coming into next year for us."

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler cruised to victory in the season-ending event of 2023.

Despite being recognised by the PGA Tour, the 20-man Hero World Challenge is not an official tournament on the circuit. 

What do you make of Morikawa's two-stroke penalty? Should he and his caddie have known better? Is it a pointless rule? Share your comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.

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