Garcia end his run of 12 consecutive over-par rounds in the tournament as he fired a level-par 70 to lie five shots off the lead, but he believed the event “deserved better” when referring to the quality of the putting surfaces.
Rory McIlroy and Colin Montgomerie were also unhappy with the condition of the greens, but it was Garcia who was most scathing when he took to Twitter after his round.
The Spaniard wrote: “Happy with my even par round today although it could’ve been a bit better by the way I played but greens are as bad as they look on TV.
“I think a championship of the calibre of @usopengolf deserves better quality??green surfaces that we have this week but maybe I’m wrong! If my problem is??saying what everyone thinks but they don’t have the guts to say it, then I’m??guilty of that for sure.”
However, Garcia later insisted his views had been taken the wrong way, adding:??”Some of you are taking what I said the wrong way! I’m trying to give credit @usopengolf??because this kind of championship DESERVES better.”
Montgomerie was delighted with his one-under 69 in his first U.S. Open appearance for seven years, but he said: “The green surfaces are very poor, some poorer than others. But no one is going to putt consistently well on these greens.”
World No 1 McIlroy missed a number of short-range putts as he struggled to a two-over 72, and he added: “They are not the best I have putted on but I should be used to it as the last two tournaments I’ve played have been just as bad.”
Poor greens were not the only issue at Chambers Bay, with many spectators frustrated at not being able to see much action due to the course layout.
“I feel for the spectators,” Montgomerie added. “There are five holes out??there where you just cannot spectate, which is bizarre for a course that was??supposedly designed for a major championship.
“There are five holes where you can’t see anything. The eighth hole is out of??bounds for spectators. It’s a helluva walk. You wouldn’t walk your dog that??far.”