TIGER WOODS spat on the 12th green at Dubai's Emirates Club last Sunday week, got fined by the European Tour and, amid international outrage, apologised on Twitter.
Yet when TV cameras caught Dustin Johnson spitting twice in quick succession on the 16th green at Riviera Country Club during last Friday's second round of the Northern Trust Open, nobody in the US seemed to notice.
Why did the video of Tiger's spit go viral on YouTube, while Johnson's saliva was left to settle in the grass?
There are several reasons.
FIRST: The forthright and unflinchingly critical comments of Sky TV commentator Ewen Murray made an issue of Tiger's filthy habit. One cannot imagine any US golf broadcaster being as pointed.
SECOND: Anything Woods does is news.
THIRD: The sports public in the US is used to seeing tobacco-chewing stars marking their territory with great gobs of tar-stained saliva.
FOURTH: No matter how exercised some American writers got about Tiger's transgression, spitting does not stir the same revulsion over there as it does in places which have been ravaged by TB and other deadly epidemics down the centuries.
MEMO TO TIGER: If you must spit, do it only in America.