Spitting is a vile habit.
It should have no place in sport as it sets a very poor example to younger viewers who look up to and copy the actions of their sporting heroes.
But unfortunately spitting does occur on a professional level, and Brooks Koepka is the latest sportsman to be accused of spitting.
During the second round of The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, the American appeared to spit on the green after missing a long putt for birdie on the ninth hole.
His actions have attracted the attention of the The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the ruling authority of the sport everywhere bar the U.S. and Mexico, and they have reacted by launching an investigation into the incident.
Following his round, Koepka defended his actions: “It wasn’t on the green, I promise you that,” as per The Times.
But regardless of whether he spat on the green or not, his actions brought about strong opposition from the Sky Sports commentators, Ewen Murray and Butch Harmon.
Murray claimed: “One or two American players have a terrible habit of spitting on the edge of the green, I’m not sure about that.”
And Harmon also expressed his condemnation: “I think it’s a disgusting habit, I agree with you.”
Tiger Woods, one of the greatest golfers of all time, has also been criticised for spitting in the past.
In 2011, Woods was fined an undisclosed fee by the European Tour for spitting on the green during the Dubai Desert Classic.
The 14-time major winner was apologetic for his actions, saying: “It was inconsiderate to spit like that and I know better.”
Unfortunately for Koepka, this is not the first time he has been embroiled in spitting accusations.
The reigning US Open winner was also criticised in November 2016 when footage appeared to show him spitting on a green at the Turkish Airlines Open.
The R&A will now decide whether Koepka has breached the etiquette expected of golfers, which requires “respect for the course” and “respect for your fellow players.”
Despite the incident, the world number eleven is enjoying a fine start to The Open, as he is currently positioned in a T3 going into the weekend, three shots behind the leader, Jordan Spieth.
Let’s just hope Koepka can learn from the incident, and in the future he is known for his superb golf and not for the actions he portrays on the golf course.