Sergio Garcia made two double bogeys on the front nine Thursday.
Travis Lindquist/Getty Images
Sunday, June 15, 2008

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Imagine where Sergio Garcia would be if he hadn't made such a mess of his first seven holes at the U.S. Open.

The tournament had barely started Thursday and Garcia already was in danger of missing the cut. Two double bogeys put him 6 over before he'd even made his first turn.

Sergio has been surging ever since, going 3 under on his last 47 holes, including consecutive rounds of 1-under 70 on Friday and Saturday at Torrey Pines' South Course.

Garcia was tied with Mike Weir, Ernie Els and John Merrick at 3-over 216 going into Sunday's final round. That was six shots behind Tiger Woods, who had a 70 on a sore left knee Saturday to take the lead at 3-under 210. A lot of ground to make up, for sure, especially considering Woods has never lost a major from the lead.

Recovering from his early mistakes has been nice. Garcia wishes they'd never happened.

"That definitely wasn't the plan, I can tell you that," said the Spaniard, who just flat-out missed fairways and greens in his first seven holes. "But, yeah, you know, when you're comfortable with your game, when you have confidence in your game, you know you can come back."

Garcia's only bogeys Saturday were on Nos. 6 and 8, sandwiched around the first of three birdies.

"I would love to be a couple better, just to make sure that I was a little closer," he said. "But, you know, every time you shoot under par here you shouldn't be too greedy, I guess. So it's not too bad, and that's what I did the last few days. Unfortunately I just had a bad start on Thursday. But I'm slowly coming back."

Garcia had a nice birdie on the par-5 13th, the hole where Phil Mickelson imploded with a quadruple-bogey 9 and Woods wowed the crowd with an eagle.

Garcia hit a strong drive just down the right side of the fairway, a 5-iron that landed short of the pin and ran about 25 feet beyond, then two-putted for birdie.

"It's getting there," Garcia said. "Like I said, I played very nicely yesterday. I felt very, very good yesterday. Today I felt like I hit a lot of good shots, maybe not as many as yesterday, but it's not easy. It's a U.S. Open. That's why it's a major. But I'm pretty happy and looking forward to hopefully having a good finish tomorrow."

ANOTHER LEFTY: Matt Leinart, the Arizona Cardinals' quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy while a junior at Southern California in 2004, was among the estimated 50,000 fans at Torrey Pines on Saturday. Leinart was scheduled to attend a party thrown by Lexus at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego on Saturday night.

CADDIE SMACKDOWN: The USGA decided there was no need to beef up security around the Phil Mickelson-Adam Scott pairing Saturday, one day after Scott's caddie went into the gallery to confront a heckler at the U.S. Open.

"That group has had extra security the whole time as it is," said Dan Hoban, the USGA's director of security. "We have 50,000 people and we just had two drunks that got out of control. As far as we're concerned, it's over."

It might not be over for caddie Tony Navarro, who could face disciplinary action for leaving the field of play and striking a fan.

On the final hole of play for the threesome of Tiger Woods, Mickelson and Scott on Friday, two fans, a father and a son, were arrested by San Diego police for investigation of public intoxication. Thomas W. Campbell, 62, of Upland, Calif., and Thomas J. Campbell, 37, of Apple Valley, Calif., spent the night in detox, Hoban said.

After hearing a fan verbally abuse him and his golfer, Scott's caddie went under the ropes that separate the fans from the field of play on the ninth hole and head-butted the younger Campbell, according to witnesses. The two wrestled to the ground and Mickelson's caddie, Jim Mackay, went through the ropes to assist Navarro and summon police.

The Campbells were handcuffed and taken away, and the 7-year-old son of the younger Campbell was placed in the care of an aunt, Hoban said.

BIG BOAT: America, the 139-foot replica of the schooner that gave the America's Cup its name, was sailing on the Pacific Ocean just off Torrey Pines on Saturday, flying a giant American flag from its mainmast. Operated by businessman Troy Sears, America is berthed at a downtown marina on San Diego Bay.

The U.S. Open is the first major played in San Diego. The city has previously been host to three Super Bowls, the America's Cup three times, two World Series and one Final Four.

AP Sports Writer Arnie Stapleton contributed to this report.

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