Tiger Woods is still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour since making his return last April. And after shooting a 66 in the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic, Woods found himself at 7-under and only one shot off the lead going into the final round.
And on Sunday we witnessed something that we have grown accustomed to with the “new” Tiger, another collapse. Woods posted a 3-over 75 and finished tied for 20th place.
As evidence of his frustration, Woods spit on the 12th hole green after missing a putt to save par. The European Tour fined Tiger on Monday an undisclosed amount for the incident. But the Associated Press reported the fine is probably between $400 and $16,000 for a minor breach.
Tiger apologized over Twitter Monday stating:
@TigerWoods: The Euro Tour is right – it was inconsiderate to spit like that and I know better. Just wasn’t thinking and want to say I’m sorry.
But getting fined for spitting? The PGA and the game of golf in general have to get off their high horse. Baseball players spit constantly, both in the field and at the plate. They chew gum, eat sunflower seeds, and even use tobacco daily. Players also treat the dugout like their own steakhouse throwing anything they want on the ground.
It’s not like we are talking about a Robby Alomar-like incident when he spit in the face of an umpire while arguing a call. Woods had a little extra saliva in his mouth.
Golfers are already forced to wear business casual on the course and walk 18 holes every day. The game of golf is known as a “gentlemen’s game”, but for those of us who play the game for leisure, we drink and/or smoke on the course wanting to relax and forget about our daily responsibilities. We even sneak behind a bush or run into the woods when we need to take a leak. Don’t lie, you know you’ve done it.
The PGA is now allowing fans and viewers at home to call out rules violations. These are the same people who call “winter rules” in the middle of summer, mulligans, and nudge the ball into the fairway. Phone calls and tweets have cost players strokes resulting in up to thousands of dollars in earnings. All this in a game where golfers themselves are supposed to be responsible for keeping track of their score.
There seems to be a double standard when it comes to Woods. PGA Tour veteran John Daly is known more for his outrageous outfits and bad habits on the course than his long drives. When Tiger was winning we praised him for putting his heart on his sleeve, shouting and fist pumping after drilling a big putt. Now any negative emotion on Woods’ part seems to be frowned upon.
No one will ever forget the domestic dispute that fateful Thanksgiving night or the sex scandal that followed, but Tiger has received treatment and apologized for his mistakes. People can analyze his swing all they want. On the other hand, officials need to lay off his other actions. They aren’t the paparazzi and I don’t want to see a story on Tiger losing his first event because he forgot to wash his hands after using the bathroom.