Some might say Tiger Woods isn’t playing golf worth spit these days.
Judging by his conduct at the Dubai Desert Classic, he most certainly is. And he might just get fined for his troubles.
Woods upset the otherwise genteel world of his sport when he expectorated twice during the tournament, which incidentally turned into yet another loss in a 15-month slump that began after the revelation of an unseemly series of extramarital affairs.
The 35-year-old Woods entered Sunday’s final round one shot off the pace, but his double-bogey on the final hole finished him at 75, in 20th place and trailing winner Alvaro Quiros of Spain by seven strokes.
Woods spat to his right on the 12th green while measuring a bogey putt (he had missed his par attempt). Sky Sports announcer Ewen Murray, who two days before had criticized him for spitting on a tee in the second round, was quick to issue some harsh words.
“There are some parts of him that are just arrogant and petulant,” said Murray, who expects Woods to draw a fine for unbecoming conduct in the European Tour. “Somebody now has to come behind him and maybe putt over his spit. It does not get much lower than that.”
The incidents punctuated another downhill step for someone who was once the world’s greatest golfer, coming just weeks after the No. 3-ranked Woods ended a five-tournament winning streak at Torrey Pines with a 44th-place finish in the Farmers Insurance Open.
He is in the midst of the worst start to a season since he turned pro. But he also had his worst season after his 2009 sex scandal, failing to place in the top three of any of his 2010 PGA events, placing in the top 10 only twice, and missing one cut. Woods began his latest final-day pratfall with two bogeys on the first three holes and never recovered.
Meanwhile, Quiros’ round included a hole-in-one that allowed him to beat Anders Hansen of Denmark and James Kingston of South Africa by a stroke.