ARDMORE, Pa. — If only Sergio Garcia could have a mulligan — or four of them — on the 15th hole, he might be in reasonable shape at the U.S. Open.
The par 4 got the best of the Spaniard in the worst way Saturday. He hit three straight shots out-of-bounds and wound up making a 10. He was 6-over on that one hole and still managed a 75. In the opening round, Garcia hit his tee shot out-of-bounds on the 15th and wound up with an 8.
He is 10-over on the 15th hole, and 1-over on the rest of them at Merion.
"Funny enough, when I made an 8 on Thursday I hit a lot of bad shots," Garcia said. "Funny enough, I only hit one bad shot today and I made 10. My first shot was into the wind and it went out of bounds. My second one, I thought it was even better and it went out of bounds by 5 inches. And then the third one wasn't great. And after that, I took a chance and the round came out nicely."
Add them all up and Garcia was at 11-over 221 going into the final round.
"A 10 is just a 10, nothing more than that," Garcia said.
He wasn't the only guy who suffered on Saturday. Kyle Stanley took a 10 on the 14th hole. Robert Karlsson had a tournament-worst 86. Stanley and Shawn Stefani checked in with an 85, while Kevin Sutherland had an 84 and Simon Khan an 82.
Garcia is one round away from making it through this U.S. Open without too many incidents outside the ropes. Asked if he was prepared for a few fans to heckle him over the "fried chicken" remark he made about Tiger Woods, Garcia conceded it was possible.
"Like I said on the first day, for the most part they've been very good," Garcia said. "Obviously there's a little group that are trying to be funny and stand out. And they shout a little bit louder than the rest. But the only thing I have to say is they're not very — how do you say it — they're not very creative."
IN GOOD COMPANY: Phil Mickelson doesn't have a driver in the bag this week so he can carry an extra wedge.
Ian Poulter has opted to go without his 7-iron.
Poulter said on Twitter that he didn't think he needed a 7-iron for Merion. He said he has had only three yardages where a 7-iron could have been used, and instead he played a soft cut with a 6-iron. It has worked well. He was tied for 11th going into the last round, despite losing four shots over the last four holes Saturday for a 73.
Besides, he's not the only player to go without a 7-iron.
Ben Hogan didn't have one in his bag when he won the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion. Asked why he didn't have one, Hogan dryly replied, "There isn't a 7-iron shot at Merion."
THE LONG ROAD TO A SHORT WEEK: Those who had the shortest week at the U.S. Open took the longest road to even get to Merion.
For the first time since at least 1997, none of the 20 players who endured 18 holes of local qualifying and 36 holes of sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open made the cut.