Having played at Bethpage for the better part of twenty years, I would say that the crowd at the Opens held there are indeed outspoken, animated, and not afraid to voice opinion - positive or negative on many issues. It is part of the NY region culture. Whether that culture extends to a Philadelphia-centered crowd, I could not say. But regardless of crowd, the remarks uttered by Garcia were deserving of criticism and for many betray an underlying attitude of racism at worst and engocentric, entitles, immaturity at best.
While Tiger took the high road understanding that from his perspective there is no value to be gained from extending this controversy, I think Garcia will remain something of a pariah. That may indeed be reflected by people in the crowd at Merion. However, in the best of golf tradition, those who found Garcia's remark offensive would have a far greater impact in expressing their displeasure by simply not reacting at all. No cheers, no boos for Sergio. Silence.