Sergio Garcia got what many observers believe he had coming, when notoriously raucous Philadelphia fans let Tiger Woods' BFF know how they felt about his fried chicken comment.
NBC reported that hecklers were out in force during Garcia's first round in the U.S. since he made his racially tinged crack about what he would serve Woods if the two were to dine together this week. Security officials accompanying Garcia during his opening round offered to toss the bums out, but Sergio declined.
"He said, 'No, it will just make it worse,'" NBC's Dan Hicks reported as Garcia was finishing up his 3-over 73 round.
"There was speculation in this area, Philadelphia, where they have a history of the fans being pretty tough on all their athletes through the years, that Garcia might hear it," Hicks said. "And he has."
Hicks' broadcasting partner, Johnny Miller, noted as Garcia had in his pre-tourney press conference that he brought it on himself.
"Well," Miller opined, "he sorta earned it."
That, he did, and fans who boo Santa Claus were not about to let him get away unscathed.
Garcia’s round included an out-of-bounds double-bogey on No. 14 and a horrific OOB drive on the 15th that led to a quadruple-bogey 8.
He made the turn at 7-over but was able to battle back with a birdie on the first and an eagle on No. 2.
Garcia told reporters Tuesday that the fried chicken incident, plus his aborted attempt to apologize to Woods face-to-face, could become a distraction, but he brushed off any negativity after his round.
"It was good," he told NBC about his reception from the spectators. "I think it was very good and I was happy with it."