June 13 2013
Garcia had a double bogey and a quadruple bogey on his scorecard Thursday. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ARDMORE, Pa. -- Sergio Garcia found out the hard way just claustrophobic Merion Golf Club can be.
Playing the difficult par-4 14th hole, Garcia's foot slipped on his tee shot and pulled it left and out of bounds. He went on to make double bogey.
One hole later, he hit his tee shot out of bounds again, bladed a shot from a greenside bunker and went on to make a quadruple-bogey 8.
"It was tough," Garcia said of Merion's most difficult stretch of holes. "For me it was very tough.
"Unfortunately two really bad holes. But it's the way it is. The U.S. Open doesn't give you much room."
That said, it could have been even more suffocating for Garcia, who recovered quite well to shoot 73 in the opening round of the 113th U.S. Open.
Garcia was at times booed and even heckled a few times throughout the day. Asked by police if he wanted anyone removed, according to NBC, Garcia instead played on.
"There were a couple here and there, but I felt the people were very nice for the whole day," he said after. "Almost all of them were behind me and that was nice to see."
The Spaniard gave them plenty of reason to cheer.
After the rough start -- he began his round on the 11th hole -- Garcia bounced back with a birdie on No. 1 and an eagle on the par-5 second, where he reached the green in two and rolled in a 15-foot putt.
"I wasn't really able to get out of trouble because I made a 6 and an 8," Garcia said. "I was able to make a nice recovery, I guess, so that was nice. But obviously I put myself in a tough situation."
Just not as tough as it could have been.