SAN FRANCISCO, JUNE 21 -- Tom Purtzer approached the first tee at the Olympic Club today and peered into the mist like a sailor at sea.

"We couldn't see the landing area from the first tee shot," he said. "The fog didn't bother me -- it didn't matter how I shot."

Purtzer was at 14-over-par -- 16 strokes off the lead -- after three rounds of the U.S. Open. He began the final round at 7:18 a.m. local time.

With the field divided in twosomes with one left over, the 13-year PGA Tour veteran was joined by David Eger, a former touring pro who was asked by the USGA to play with Purtzer to keep his score.

"The fog was there on and off for eight or nine holes," said Purtzer, whose four-round total of 295 was 15 strokes over par. "I don't think they {Open officials} really care about who went off at 7:18. That's all right. It throws the whole day off if they wait."

ABC Televison was promised a finish at just before 8 p.m. EDT. Even a short delay would have scrambled that schedule.

"I wanted to get finished anyway," said Purtzer, who has earned nearly $1.25 million on the tour.

Purtzer, whose best finish in 15 events this year is a tie for ninth of the Tournament Players Championship, shot scores of 74 and 73 and just survived Friday's cut. He had six bogeys and a double-bogey in shooting a third-round 77.

A 6 on the foggy par-5, 533-yard first hole sent Purtzer to 15-over. Two birdies and two bogeys -- including one when he missed a 7-foot par putt on No. 18 -- ended his U.S. Open.