LONDON Former world number one Tiger Woods has apologised after being fined for spitting during the Dubai Desert Classic over the weekend.
"It was inconsiderate to spit like that and I know better. Just wasn't thinking and want to say I'm sorry," Woods wrote on his Twitter account on Monday.
The European Tour decided to fine Woods after reviewing television footage.
"Tournament director Mike Stewart has reviewed the incident and feels there has been a breach of the tour code of conduct and consequently Tiger Woods will be fined," the European Tour said in a statement.
Officials will write to the 35-year-old American's management team but are unlikely to publicly disclose the amount of the fine.
Woods, a 14-times major winner, was caught spitting several times by cameras on Sunday as he returned a three-over-par 75 to finish seven strokes behind winner Alvaro Quiros of Spain.
Former tour professional Ewen Murray, now a commentator with Sky, voiced his displeasure with the world number three.
"You look at his work ethics and he is a credit to the game and an inspiration to all of those who are trying to become professional golfers but there are some parts of him that are just arrogant and petulant," said Murray.
"Somebody now has to come behind him and maybe putt over his spit (on the 12th green). It does not get much lower than that."
Murray's Sky colleague Robert Lee is on the European Tour's board of directors and he was equalled appalled at Woods's behaviour in Dubai.
"Could you imagine Jack Nicklaus looking down at a four or five-foot putt and then turning to the side and (spitting)? It would never happen," said former tour professional Lee.
"It's a lack of class, appalling. It won't be his legacy, his legacy will be that he has won 14 majors and ... if he is not the best golfer who ever lived, he is very close to it.
"But he should also be mindful of where he is in world golf and what youngsters think of him because whether he likes it or not, he's a role model."
Lee said he could never imagine past golfing greats spitting on the course in the manner of Woods.
"I keep looking at that vision of him squatting down at the 12th green ... could I ever see Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, any of those legends doing something like that? The answer is 'no'," said the Briton.
"He needs to have a bit more class about him and think about what he is doing."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)