VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — Tiger Woods apologized after being fined Monday for spitting during the Dubai Desert Classic, almost a year after vowing to improve his behavior following a sex scandal that ended his marriage and rocked the golf world.
The European Tour said in a statement that tournament director Mike Stewart reviewed the incident, which took place Sunday on the 12th green of Woods' final round, and "feels there has been a breach of the tour code of conduct."
"The Euro Tour is right — it was inconsiderate to spit like that and I know better," Woods said on Twitter. "Just wasn't thinking and want to say I'm sorry."
The tour said it would not disclose the amount of the fine but it is likely to range from 250 to 10,000 pounds ($400-$16,000) for a minor breach.
Television cameras caught the 35-year-old Woods spitting over his right shoulder while he was replacing his ball, having just missed a par putt. He ended up posting a 3-over 75 to finish seven shots behind winner Alvaro Quiros, even though Woods began the final day just one shot off the lead.
The 14-time major winner, now ranked No. 3, has gone 17 tournaments without a win for the first time since turning professional in 1996. His last victory came at the Australian Masters in December 2009.
Last year proved to be the most challenging of his career after returning from a five-month break from the sport following sordid revelations about his private life, which led to his split from wife Elin.
In a televised statement in February 2010, nearly three months after the scandal erupted, he spoke of the need to "make my behavior more respectful of the game."
The tour's code of conduct states that when a player becomes a member he "voluntarily submits himself to standards of behavior and ethical conduct beyond those required of ordinary golfers and members of the public."
Cameras also spotted Woods spitting on the second tee during the second round of the Dubai tournament.
Ewen Murray, a commentator for Britain's Sky Sports, said it was "one of the ugliest things you will ever see on a golf course."
After Woods spat on Sunday, Murray said that "somebody now has to come behind him and maybe putt over his spit. It does not get much lower than that."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.