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June 23, 2009
THE MODERATOR: We want to welcome Ricky Barnes to the interview room here at travelers championship. Ricky, obviously a fun and exciting week at the U.S. Open with the runner-up finish. Maybe not the way you wanted it to end, but talk about the week, and looking back what it was like?
RICKY BARNES: As long as the tournament went and showing up here on a Tuesday, it seemed like it was a two-week long tournament with the weather the way it was.
You know, I kind of woke up this morning, and I felt the same as I did last night where I'll take the good things that happened last week, and still be really satisfied with a second place finish. I know at times I had the lead and I did have the 36 and 54-hole lead.
But at the same time, you know, second in the U.S. Open, you know, not expecting that much, obviously going into it. But, you know, if you had told me that at the beginning of the week, I would have been super stoked. Obviously, especially coming into the next few events that I knew I was in, it's a good stepping stone.
Q. When did you know it was a good week and not just a good round? Did you feel that your game clicked at some point where you just weren't going to put up a good number the first day? When did you feel like your whole game was in?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, I played a really solid round my first round. You know, shot 67. I just didn't feel like it could be any worse. Once you get in those tunnel vision modes where you just didn't feel like I could make a bogey.
If I hit a squirrely shot, it seemed like it was on the right hole and maybe it was a tee ball on a par 5 where I could hack it out. Give myself an 8-iron for the third shot. Hit it in the middle of the green, two putt and move on to the next hole. I think I did that once on 13, which was one of the par 5s. I missed the drive left, and got right back on track.
The next hole I knocked it 15 feet, and it seemed like it was like that every time through the first 54 holes and the last day didn't feel as comfortable. You know, we got some wind, too, the last day. And they set up the course a little bit longer than they had the previous three days.
Q. Johnny Miller on Monday was talking about the pressure of being in there for the first time. And once you've done it a couple of times, you've learned from it. What was that experience from the final round pressure and what did you take out of it?
RICKY BARNES: To get back there. I probably hadn't been in that for a while. I probably felt those kind of nerves once or twice in the past years on the Nationwide Tour. But I did during the 2003 Masters and 2002 Amateur. Once you get in that heated moment, you need to make quality good swings.
You know, I was probably just as shaken up coming off of number 12 letting the round get completely away from me in the tee box when I still had the lead. You know, 80 on was in the picture really easily, because you've got a lot of tough holes coming in, too.
Lot of guys were making bogies on holes like 12, 14 was a tough pin with everybody stepping around, and, obviously 15 and 17 are pretty self explanatory.
Q. Did you ever give a thought of not playing this week? Watching with such a National passion play. You set a record on the front nine yesterday. You rebounded. It was real drama. Were you ever overwhelmed thinking, Geez, my head's mush and maybe I shouldn't play this week? Could you just talk us through that a little bit?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, I haven't played that much golf. Mentally would have been the only thing physically. I'll be fine there. I know I'll train hard and be ready for that. But I never thought, no, because I wanted to play tournaments. I think if I had won I would have still come.
I just want to get out and play. If you're playing well, why not keep playing? I'm not necessarily still in a bunch of tournaments by finishing second. I want to play here. Someone just told me that I'm in by two spots next week. So hopefully I'll get in there and play Congressional next week, and then parlay it.
We weren't sure if that did get me in the British or not.
THE MODERATOR: I think he's third on the sixth event money list. You need a good week this week and next week, that's what we were looking at before we came in here.
RICKY BARNES: So I'd love to play AT&T and Deere, and if I somehow didn't get into the British, I could take that week off I think it's U.S. Bankers. I've got to get out and play. The tournaments that I'm in, I'm going to play in. Keep climbing that FedExCup money list, and get in the race for the Chase at the end.
And I think a great U.S. Open. Great to be back. Obviously playing on a high stage in majors, but this is a full year. It's not just one week out here. So I need to keep competing and would love to get into the final group here again this week.
Q. Could you give us a glimpse of a day in the life of? Last week as the tournament extended, did you go out to dinner? Did you go out on the town? Did you go on out at any time the people of New York, the fans that either saw you on television or at the tournament recognized you, and what was that experience like for you?
RICKY BARNES: I think a lot of the volunteers. As for going out, my family and I had rented a house, so it made it a lot easier. And I think that's something to be said for all majors. A lot of people come in from out of town anyways to go out. It's just probably tough to get into places.
So it made it really easy, and especially how late we were finishing. You know, we were finishing people in my wave, too, 8:30, 8:15 the horn was blowing. So you had to rush home real quick, get something in the belly quick, because you knew you were going to be back up at 5:45, 6:00 the next morning. As for that, I wasn't out on there.
But the volunteers, we had neighbors, the kids kind of knew I was there, so they'd come over and we'd take pictures and sign stuff like that. And they recognized when I first pulled up in my courtesy cars, what is your name? So they thought that was kind of cool.
Q. The putt on the 18th, you were pretty stunned when it stayed up. What did you see and what was your reaction?
RICKY BARNES: It's so funny I'm watching, I think it was Golf Channel and ESPN this morning. Kind of woke up, I was getting ready, you know, did a phone interview. And I'm kind of talking to this guy, and I'm waiting for them to show this final 18th putt. I thought it would have been a good putt. If it had gone in, it might have changed the outcome. Lucas and I might have gone and played another 18 holes. Who knows what it would have done. But they didn't even show it.
So personally, I haven't seen the putt on TV yet. I want to see if it was as close as what I think I saw in person where it almost defied gravity. I think I saw Phil's putt from the other spot, they showed that on TV, and it kind of went across the hole. So now I'm thinking of my putt, you know, back in the memory bank. I'm still mind-boggled how it didn't go in. I guess I hit it too hard.
Q. Did it fall out on the left?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, I had it a cup and a half out. It started going, started going. It was losing speed, losing speed. And it probably rolled by two revolutions. On the top side, I mean, I couldn't ask for anything more. If it's on the low side, it probably breaks low. On the top side, I guess we'll never know how it didn't go in.
Q. When you're on the leaderboard, how hard is it to go out at 7:30, 7:00 p.m. or whatever times you were going out there?
RICKY BARNES: It was weird. I think the worst one was after we played 18 holes, 2 hours and 15 minutes, and then go back out. I went home, I showered, I changed. But you wanted to go out and hit balls again, and it was just a lot on your feet.
We were walking in wet conditions, so it was a little extra energy on the feet and moving around, and avoiding the mud in between holes. But it is pretty weird with a 7:37 tee time on Sunday night of the final round, I'll have to say that's a first.
Q. You talked about renting a house, so this with your family who was with you and how did that come about? This went very quickly, you qualify, and you decide you're going to take people with you, rent a house, find a house? That's pretty interesting.
RICKY BARNES: Oh, yeah. I mean, I got in, my parents still haven't missed a major. My girlfriend's parents wanted to come out. And they kind of got on the search hunt. We have an allotment of two rooms for the host hotel, and they'll kind of give you those. So I always had that as a I guess a cop out if I didn't get it. I'd just stay in the hotel.
He was able to find one. It was great, it was big. And then after a few people heard that, my parents came, my girlfriend's parents came. My brother was going to caddie, he stayed there, and then my cousin and his wife. So we were able to fill the rooms as opposed to getting a four bedroom house and there's three people in there.
And it made it real easy. You came home, and fortunately, the mom's would cook. You'd come home, try to shower, get back in the sweats and sweat shirts and make sure I got rest. I mean, that was the main thing. Trying to fall asleep right away. It's not easy to fall asleep when you come home at 8:30, try to get something in your belly, and you want to get to sleep before 11:00, because you know you're going to be up at 6:00.
Obviously, knowing what's at hand with having the lead and stuff doesn't make it easier.
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, there were about eight or nine. It was five bedrooms, so.
Q. Yesterday, if I recall at the press conference, you said you were going to go out last night. Did you go out last night and when did you arrive in Connecticut? Or what was the last 24 hours like?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, well, it's been crazy. It's been fun though. I had father's day on Sunday with a buddy of ours that came out that was a dad. Obviously, girlfriend's dad, my dad had a great day. Just played really good golf. Even par after the 36-hole lead, so I was pretty stoked with that. Then everyone had to leave.
My parents, I think there were six of them had that had to go back that day to northern California. Little did I know till that morning that we had to get some more tickets. So a bunch of friends came out.
So we all went after the tournament, I stuck around and I had no problem. There was obviously a lot of people from Thursday came out. After we were done I probably signed for about 40, 45 minutes. I thought it was the right thing to do.
Then we went into the city last night. One of my sponsors from Oakley had flown in. So we all went out to dinner, a group of 12 to 14 of us. Had an awesome dinner. We went out and had a little fun last night. Fortunately I had a good buddy who wasn't using his place in the city. So we were all able to sleep at his house. Got a car. I knew I didn't want to rush out here ask get drained physically and rush to the golf course. Trying to sneak in 8 or 19 holes.
So I hopped in the car about 11:00 or 12:00 this afternoon, and couple people were calling me asking me when I was showing up. But I slept 90% of the way here. It was rest well needed.
Q. Can you describe the mood as the week went on on in that house? I mean, you have nine people. I'm sure they came out, it's fun, it's New York City, you're in the Open. Now you have the 36 and 54 lead. Did you describe the tension in the house? Did everybody ignore it? Did you talk about the round?
RICKY BARNES: I don't think we ignored it. We talked. Some people had questions what was it. Especially the more better I played, we had more crowds around us. So the parents and family and everyone that was trying to see me, it's tougher for them to see. So they would talk about that. There wasn't much talk after the first two holes on Sunday night. Ricky was a little heated when he got in the car. Maybe turn the music on a little bit to unquiet the car.
But it was fun. We're a pretty outgoing, loud family and friends and it just kind of kept that way the whole week. I think a few that hadn't been there that were in the house with the 2003 Masters when I was right up there was kind of the same feeling. Everyone kind of came in. Lots of smiles. Probably a lot of nervous chatter going on, too. So there wasn't any lack of conversation.
And it was crazy when you came home, every third web page that somebody picked up kind of related to sports had a picture or my name in a sentence on it. And we obviously thought that was pretty cool. Because it had been way too long to not see that.
Q. The overall experience of the Open, does that give you more confidence now for the season?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, that's obviously what I'm hoping for, too. That's why when you posed the question did I ever think about not playing it, it didn't really cross my mind, because I want to keep playing.
Good play breeds success. Someone once told me that a lot of the time you make 70% of your money in five or six weeks of the year. Sometimes you see guys, they play well for three out of four week stretches, and that's what I'm looking forward to, too.
I'm going to take away a lot of good things and grow from the last day, knowing that, hey, if you get into a little bit of a bind, you're a good enough player to come back from that. You know, I did it on one of the toughest golf courses to come back and shoot, I think what was I? 1 under my last 7 holes or something like that. And it could have been lower. You know, I had eagle putts, birdie putts, and I don't know what the ball on 15 did, but it seemed like it raced past the hole with a 3-iron on my second shot, and I think that was the only green I missed on the way in.
So I'll take a lot of good swings from that. Spoke with my coach briefly after last night just to, you know, get back to basics, really. I wanted to know what I was doing a little bit. And I know I was moving around, but the heart rate's going. You're feeding off the fans. They're starting to yell. And it's fun. I like those kind of arenas.
Q. Where did you win your Amateur?
RICKY BARNES: Oakland Hills.
Q. Don't make that the last question. Have you been on this course ever? Have you taken a shot here?
RICKY BARNES: No, just showed up. That's how long I've been here. Honestly, I missed their calls. I wasn't shoving them off, I was sleeping. That's the main thing. I know I'm playing well. This is going to obviously, help my confidence.
I've heard good things. I asked a few guys last week that I played practice rounds with. Are you playing next week? Yeah, I like the course. I know it's a pretty good set-up.
I just asked a few guys how was it. And I don't think they got as much of the rain that we did out on Long Island.
THE MODERATOR: Good luck this week, and congratulations again.
RICKY BARNES: Thanks.
End of FastScripts