The tension between Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods reached a rocky impasse at the start of this weekend's U.S. Open when the two shook hands before teeing off. But the spectators at Merion are letting Garcia know they haven't forgotten his racially questionable joke. Deadspin snagged video, via The Golf Channel, of spectators reminding Garcia of his racist "fried chicken" joke he made at the height of his rivalry with Woods. This particular heckler yelled at Garcia while he was teeing up on the 11th hole Saturday, but it was hardly an isolated incident. Hecklers have chased Garcia along the course and, on occasion, the police have offered to throw some out. Ever the gentleman, Garcia has declined.
Garcia is currently at +12 -- way behind the leading Charl Schwartzl and Luke Donald at -1. But, unfortunately, Garcia can't use the abuse as an excuse for his poor play. Schwartzl and Donald are the only two players under par right now.
Garcia and Woods shook hands Thursday before the tournament started. This seemingly signaled their boiling rivalry (by golf standards) that started with disputes about, ironically, gallery noise and peaked with Garcia's "fried chicken" joke had come to an end. Woods called the joke "wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate," at the time. But the handshake showed things had cooled between the two. Clearly there's still a villain in the fans' minds.