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April 11, 2010

Ricky Barnes


Q. That was a good way to finish.
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, a tough day out there. You know, the short game got me into a few good spots. I thought I'd get some momentum and just never really got it going. I hit it pretty good to start the back nine and then just never got the ball rolling. Then on the way in, I just couldn't find much. Bogey on 13, hit it close on 14, missed, and just couldn't really get anything going.

Q. When you were here after the Amateur, I think you and everybody else thought you'd be back here a lot. How does it feel to be back, and do you feel like maybe last year the Open kind of started something for you?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, I think so. Not only that, but the previous year I was working pretty hard and I got nine Top 10s on the Nationwide Tour to get my Tour card, so I felt like I belonged out there. So when I came into the majors -- let's say the U.S. Open, I was playing with the guys week in and week out. You know, for the way I played the last two days, to come out right around -- I think I'm actually going to probably get invited back next year.

Q. You're Top 10 right now.
RICKY BARNES: I'll take it. I didn't have a very good game on the weekend let's say. I had some good spurts to work on, to bring into next week, but overall I didn't play that great.

Q. Did you have any idea you likely would have had to get up-and-down on 18 to earn a return invitation?
RICKY BARNES: No, I think I took a quick look. I don't think I would have needed it. But I wasn't shooting for that today. I wanted to come out and shoot a good score, get something in the 60s. I wanted to get a better turn score so maybe I could make a little highlights on the back nine with some par-5s and didn't play the par-5s very well today. I played them actually 1-over -- even par.
The weekend was up and down. I had good spurts of five or six holes, then go off for a couple and then come back. So it was a bit of a struggle, but I hit some quality shots out there, and I'll take that into next week. I had a really good warmup session today and hit two good shots on the first hole, hit two pretty good shots on the second hole, and 3, I got it to 1-under and then it just didn't continue. The swing that I had over there didn't transfer the whole round let's say.

Q. Do you learn something every time?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, if you're not learning every round, you're not playing the game of golf. You know, I'll take a lot of good from this week. Considering where I was going into today, Top 10s in majors are good. I'm not going to complain about Top 10s in majors when I really wasn't in the hunt today. I never really got in the hunt. In fact, if I would have got to 8, 9 early and did something, I'd probably be a little bit more disappointed, but I didn't make anything early on.

Q. What is it about majors? Do you like performing on a bigger stage or the setups or --
RICKY BARNES: It's fun. I definitely enjoy myself. I think setups, like you said, I finished 4- or 5-under, and I'm Top 10. You don't need to go shoot 12-under to finish in the Top 10. That's kind of always the style that I've always played. Who knows what it is, but it's always fun when you're competing.

Q. You and Hunter Mahan were kind of linked because of the Amateur that year. Do you guys ever talk about my life is going this way, your life is going this way? Do you feel like it's like your converging a little bit?
RICKY BARNES: A little bit, but he took a quicker, faster road than I did, obviously played some real good golf. I think he's playing decent today. But we played the World Amateur together. It was kind of our last thing after that, and we were teammates. Once you get over that kind of hump, you know, you're playing competitors and stuff like that as opposed to being linked. We're around the same age so we can relate to a lot of the same things, and it's good. I'd love to become a teammate of his again. I want to someday or somehow get into the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup.

Q. You have a lot of guys like Westwood, Mickelson, Tiger up at the top, but then right below them are guys like yourself, Hunter, and of course Anthony Kim today went crazy, and these guys in their 20s. Do you at all envision that crowd as maybe the guys that five years, ten years, whatever, from now are up at the top of that board?
RICKY BARNES: I hope so, hope the mid to late 20s right now can get it going and get a new wave. Obviously having Phil and Tiger in the hunt is always great, don't get me wrong. It's great for the viewers, it's good for us, it's good for TV. But like you said, if we can get that crowd coming in often, not only in majors but in other tournaments, I think if we show a little charisma and let the TV people know who we really are, it'll be fun for them, as well.

Q. Is Tiger with all this going to become just another golfer? Has it dropped back that much? Has it leveled the playing field at all?
RICKY BARNES: No. He's got to make some noise to get in there, and from what it looks like I'd say he's probably not going to win this week. But to come back, I don't think he was always that much in the game.

Q. Other guys didn't fade this week when he made charges.
RICKY BARNES: It's the level of golfers there are. You grew up playing in such high competition and week in and week out on the PGA TOUR, you're seeing guys coming from the Nationwide and winning out there, and then two years later Zach Johnson is winning right here. I think that's it, and guys are grinding out there. There's a lot at stake, and that's why we work so hard for it.

Q. I know it's hard to predict off just two performances, but the Open last year and now this, do you feel like you're kind of at a point where you're ready to be what you hoped to be?
RICKY BARNES: I'm getting closer. You know, like I said, I've got to just ball strike it like I did the first two days when I get really in competition or I guess under the gun. But I'm close. You know, come out on Sunday and Saturday and grind my way through a 1-over par round, I've got to take more of that that I'm fighting out there as opposed to I used to get really mad and throwing shit and doing all that stuff. You know, I grinded it around, chipped in the last hole, and here we are. We'll see you guys next year.

End of FastScripts

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