Sergio Garcia promised to learn from his mistakes after he was disqualified from the inaugural Saudi International for "grave misconduct" — deliberately damaging five greens during the third round.
The 2017 Masters champion (39), who was clearly no fan of the "Paspalum Dynasty" putting surfaces at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, took out his frustration on the golf course, just 24 hours after angrily smashing his club into a bunker in round two before letting fly with a torrent of expletives.
"The mother who gave birth to you! Fucking shit! Fuck! Fucking caddies who don't know how to rake bunkers. Stick it up your arse, the whole lot of you," he said in Spanish after thrashing the sand three times, then following up with another swipe at the offending hazard as playing partners Dustin Johnson and Matt Wallace lined up their putts.
His antics in round three included leaving scuff marks and a divot on five greens as he played alongside the young Italian Renato Paratore, whose caddie felt García's prolonged show of ire was over the top.
According to a story by the Spanish news agency, EFE, Paratore's Spanish caddie, Javier Erviti said: "We are used to shows of character because we are Latinos, but we had the impression this tantrum was a bit over the top."
According to EFE, Erviti was more concerned about the effect on his own player but he said after seeing a scuff mark on the fifth green that he felt bad for colleague Víctor García, Sergio García's brother and caddie.
Compatriot Jorge Campillo and his caddie Borja Simó, who were two groups behind García and Paratore, called rules officials when they spotted deliberate damage to several greens.
"We knew it could affect us and the groups behind us, " Simó told EFE.
Campillo added: "It could happen once to any of us but several times is not normal."
Shortly after the incidents, Spanish referee Federico Paez examined the damage, took photos of several greens and set in motion the process that led Garciá's disqualification under Rule 1.2a.
At the end of the round, tournament director David Phillips, armed with an electronic tablet, was waiting for Garcia near the recorders area. They went through the photos and had a conversation to establish the facts and the punishment.
Gonzalo Fernández Castaño, who was playing five groups behind Garcia, suspected that it was García who had caused the damage he saw to the greens.
"When I finished, the first thing I did was look for Sergio and speak to him and tell him what he did was unacceptable," Fernández Castaño is quoted as saying.
"I told him because he is a good friend and friends are there to give advice and help in difficult moments," added the Madrid player, who advised García to apologise and take responsibility.
Following his disqualification under Rule 1.2a for committing serious misconduct, Garcia issued a statement that said: “I respect the decision of my disqualification. In frustration, I damaged a couple of greens, which I apologise for, and I have informed my fellow players it will never happen again.”
Two hours later, sitting in his hotel room, García calmly reflected on his behaviour.
"What happened this week is not something I am proud of. We are all human and we all make mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from them. The mistake is not learning from mistakes," Garcia said before apologising to his hosts, the Saudi Arabian Golf Federation.
His compatriots accepted his apology.
Fernández Castaño said: "Sergio stood up, apologised and accepted his punishment. He was unable to control his temper, they disqualified him, he accepted the fine and apologised. I think he did what was required in the end. "
As reported by the Scotsman's Martin Dempster on Sunday, Keith Pelley is keen to draw a line under the incident.
He said: “The incident is over. We have dealt with it. Sergio has apologised to the players and we move on.”
According to the world number 28's website, he is scheduled to tee it up in the Genesis Open at Riviera next week followed by appearances in the WGC Mexico Championship and the Honda Classic.