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May 18, 2017

Ricky Barnes

Irving, Texas

Q. Ricky, want to talk about a great opening round of 6-under par but before we do you, faked me out a little bit on 18. Were you looking up on the second? How close were you to deciding to go over?
RICKY BARNES: Over, was actually just a layup, just a sand wedge. A 5-iron, under with a 4-iron or chip out with an 8-iron. There was about four plays I was thinking.

I figured if I went down the right side I hit it, I could get a drop and have an angle to get to the back pin and then finally at the end I figured if I hit enough heat and keep it under I would actually be able to roll through the bunker instead -- obviously best case scenario was flying the bunker, roll up on the green. I couldn't honestly say I surprised myself as well.

Q. Eight birdies on the day. Statistically you looked at everything, hard to find a weakness. You must be thrilled.
RICKY BARNES: Yeah. I don't think I hit many fairways. I was actually saying that I ran through I think three fairways that I didn't think I could run through. I think we had a 305 with a 3-wood run out, 330 with a driver run out. About the same with another one into the wind.

My distance control was good and if your distance control is good out here, especially on the par-3s and leave it below the par-5s and 4s and keep it in front of you -- one bad place, one place where I was short-sided kind of putted it up the hill and it went in.

Q. The wind was gusting. I saw several players back off. How many more miles per hour does this need to climb this afternoon where 2-under is a great score?
RICKY BARNES: We were on 16 and 17 and I felt like it was going to get to that, that gust. I feel like the gusts right now are 20. Which I'll probably say, if it gets get 25, 30, then anything under par is good because now you're dealing with the calm winds 12 to 15 and anything gusting is 25 to 30.

That's a club and a half if you hit it wrong.

Q. Eight birdies today. That's pretty good.
RICKY BARNES: Yeah. Almost birdied half of them and I had two looks coming in. Yeah, very happy.

You know, I played solid, kept the hole in front of me. I was telling the stat, I didn't hit many fairways but I even ran a few out on run-outs where I actually was kind of going down the fairway and the hole doglegs a little right or left, kind of ran through.

Always far enough I was only kind of hitting a wedge out of the middle of the bunker and actually birdied one of those three holes.

Distance control was very good today. I think that's what leads to birdies out here. If you get in the right sections of these greens you can get good looks. If you're on kind of the sections you don't have -- seems like you always have inside of 14, 16 feet not much protection. I did that well.

Was always just right up, right around the front of the green on the two par-5s, chipped them close and, you know, that's what you got to do out here is take birdies when you can get them and especially on a breezy day, minimize your mistakes.

Q. How much did the wind come into play for you guys out there, Ricky?
RICKY BARNES: Quite a bit. I felt like the gusts weren't crazy. I felt like, you know, right around our 5th, 6th, 7th hole we were going to get the big gusts, gusting to 25, 30. I think the gusts were only high teens, 20s.

I didn't feel like I was backing off many shots and, like I said, I felt like I was in control and I was driving it far enough that I wasn't hitting -- I didn't feel like I had a lot of 180 shots into where I was going back and forth of two different clubs.

Q. Ricky, score-wise, this is your lowest round in more than a year. Do you feel like your best round in more than a year?
RICKY BARNES: No. I felt like I played better rounds -- I made more birdies, you know. I holed out well today. I actually hit it okay last week, wasn't holeing out.

My best -- I actually played really good the 1st Round last week. Unfortunately, bogeyed my last hole on 18 but I was 3, 4-under in that wind last week going into 18 and actually hit a decent shot.

But it's starting to come around. I actually said it about two weeks ago. My coach and caddy been kind of grinding it out. Haven't had a great year but I'm having signs of brilliancy (sic).

I need to kind of put it altogether and like I said, just keep the hole in front of you. I didn't make any real stupid mistakes. I went for one gamble when I missed the fairway on 18. It paid off. I hit a great shot. Keep the hole in front of me and move on.

Q. One thing specifically you're working on?
RICKY BARNES: No. Seems like with players we're always kind of getting in the same bad habits and then just getting out of them. Like I said, the past few weeks holeing out, distance control and, you know, out here it will pay dividends if you keep the ball in the fairway especially with wind and bermuda rough.

Q. How much does it mean for you guys to support John Senden and his son with what they're going through?
RICKY BARNES: It's great. Fortunately I had lunch with him that Thursday before in San Antonio and then I found out that next Monday morning. He was actually supposed to play in a charity event with us as well and found out.

Yeah, we're family out here. Fortunately, we're not like a few other sports where you're playing against each other. Out here, we're playing against the golf course. So, our heart goes out to him and his family and, obviously, his son. Hopefully he'll pull through.

Q. You played this course a number of times. Is it something that fits your eye?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah. I've had decent rounds, decent success out here. Not a Top-5 or anything.

I've always kind of enjoyed the option of having a bunch of different clubs off of tees, you know, like 18 is one of them. 1 is even one of them. 3 -- you could go time and time of either taking on the course or kind of playing to the dogleg and hitting around them.

Q. Hear any scuttlebutt about Trinity Forest or something that even interests you?
RICKY BARNES: Not yet because we're here this week. But, yeah, I talked to a few of the Dallas guys that go out there. It's going to be rough leaving this because of this facility here, we're so lucky with a locker room, a gym, a big facility for crowds. So, yeah, we'll see. Year away and hopefully we have another good one here.

Q. What a great start for Ricky Barnes, Day 1 here at the AT&T Byron Nelson. How did you put together a 64?
RICKY BARNES: Distance control today. We had some breeze out there, you know, few winds gusting up but nothing crazy. Then 8 birdies. Anytime you make that many birdies you should play a good round of golf.

Took advantage of good shots, birdied the couple par-5s, kept the hole in front of me and didn't make any other mistakes. I was short-sided on an early bogey but I bounced back and either birdied the next hole or the second hole after that.

Q. What is it like when you get in a rhythm with your ball-striking?
RICKY BARNES: It seems every number is a decent number when you're striking it well. Even if some days you're not striking it well it might be an odd number even if it is a good number, and then the days that you're striking it well any number seems like a good number and you can pull an easy club.

Q. Given the recent run you had been on was there any indication that it was starting to come together leading into this week?
RICKY BARNES: I was having signs. I think I made the last four cuts or something and not really put four rounds together but I've had some signs out there, whether couple rounds that I'm hitting it well and not holeing out well and then the other way and I'm almost kind of hanging around even par. Nice to go out and shoot a 6-under instead of your good rounds being 1, 2-under.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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