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February 18, 2016

Ricky Barnes

Pacific Palisades, California

Q. What were you expecting when you came out this morning?
RICKY BARNES: The greens were at least probably 12 and a half, 13, they were firm. Came out and we pretty much learned a lot on the first two holes, just kind of hit, splat and spin. It got drier a little bit as the day went on, but we warmed up in a lot more rain than I thought and a lot more wind than I thought. I was glad to see it die down after we hit our first tee shots.

Q. How great are these kikuyu fairways to playoff when it's wet? The ground stays pretty dry under the ball?
RICKY BARNES: It does. That was probably the firmest part of the course. I actually hit my shot off of 10 thinking that it would be soft right in the bunker through.

So kind of learned, like I said, learned the course early in the first two or three holes. If you hit the fairway, the ball will still run out but you can land every shot pin-high.

Q. Knowing that this golf course, that single digits could probably win, did you feel a little more, today is the day to get it right now, if I can, that's going to go a long ways, because you can make up a lot of ground on the weekend.
RICKY BARNES: I was actually telling my brother the last three holes, I'm curious to see how firm this course can get, meaning the greens. I know the fairways will stay dry and run out. We are supposed to have good weather so I'm curious how the ball will be bouncing here the next two or three days.

Q. You've been popping up on leaderboards a lot the last few months, trending the right direction. What have you been doing to get in that position a lot more?
RICKY BARNES: I started working with a coach 13, 14 months ago and a lot is clicking. My short game's been a lot better the last six, eight months which has got me into contention and saving rounds.

I had to get up-and-down on 2 after being behind a tree and doing that. Kind of case in point: You're kind of cruising along, 2-under, you can easily go back to one. But holing putts, hitting a lot of quality shots out there. Got up there and fallen back on a few but that's just learning, trusting the new stuff I've been working on and having it translate to the actual golf course.

Q. Happened to see you on the second hole when you were playing your second shot. Were you contemplating going right of these trees?
RICKY BARNES: I did both, and my brother just said left, that left bunker is way better than kind of right. So tried an open face and cut a hybrid 30 yards. I actually left it in an okay spot depending on the lie.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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