Commentators compared Woods' behaviour unfavourably with that of his predecessors [AFP]

Former world number one Tiger Woods is to be fined for spitting during the Dubai Desert Classic at the weekend.

Woods, a 14-times major winner, was caught spitting several times by television cameras on Sunday as he returned a three-over-par 75 to finish seven strokes behind winner Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

The world number three apologised for the incidents on his Twitter page on Monday.

"It was inconsiderate to spit like that and I know better. Just wasn't thinking and want to say I'm sorry," Woods wrote.

Officials will now write to the 35-year-old American's management team but are unlikely to publicly disclose the amount of the fine.

"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 on Monday.

Former tour professional Ewen Murray, now a commentator with Sky, voiced his displeasure with the world number three.

'An inspiration...but arrogant'

"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 equally appalled.

"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."

Source: Reuters