At least one fan on Saturday at the US Open continued the wisecracks against Sergio Garcia.
Garcia has heard a mixture of catcalls, quips and lighthearted support from fans at Merion Golf Club after his recent racially tinged remark about inviting Tiger Woods over for dinner and serving fried chicken.
And, on Saturday, NBC caught one fan’s “fried chicken” yell clearly as Garcia prepared to tee off at the start of his third round.
Garcia went on to record a massive 10 on the par-4 15th hole during a rough round Saturday. That’s the same hole he’d scored a quadruple-bogey 8 on in Thursday’s first round. He shot a 5-over 75 in Saturday’s third round and is 11 over for the tournament, way out of contention. (Leaderboard)
Widely criticized at the time of his remark some three weeks ago, Garcia has apologized to Woods both privately and publicly. Yet there were some lingering questions about how he’d be received at Merion this week by a sometimes-tough Philadelphia sports crowd.
“There were a couple here and there, but there was — I felt the people were very nice for the whole day. I think that almost all of them were behind me,” Garcia said Thursday, “and that was nice to see.”
Some examples of the US Open wisecracks from Thursday:
As Garcia reached the first green, where he had an 8-footer for birdie, a fan holding a beer yelled, “Hey, head case! Let’s see you blow it 10 feet by.”
Instead, Garcia drained the putt for birdie, then made eagle at the par-5 second hole with a big drive, another 3-wood to 16 feet and made that putt as well.
As Garcia started down the No. 5 fairway, a fan lining the ropes yelled, “I ate the bones!” — the punch line from a new round of commercials for KFC. Yet just another 100 yards, as Garcia passed by, another fan said, “I hate Tiger, too!”
On and on it went at nearly all of the closing holes. Many fans cheered and a few expressed loud support for Garcia, only to have someone yell something like “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” as one did standing on a patio of a pricey home alongside the sixth fairway.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.