home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 7, 2011

Ricky Barnes


CLAUDE NIELSEN: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Ricky Barnes, who is now in his third Masters appearance. His best finish was last year, actually. He tied for 10th place; low amateur in the 2003 Masters. He won the 2010 CVS Charity Classic, and today he finished his first round of competition 4-under par.
Nice start and congratulations on that. Maybe you would like to make a few comments about the day, about your card, and then we'll open it up for questions.
RICKY BARNES: Okay. Obviously we know the scoring conditions were out there early and often, looking at the board. So getting out there and bogeying the first hole wasn't the best taste in my mouth. I just kind of hit a bad second shot and hit it left in the bunker.
But as we can take a look to my left, or at the scorecard, I think the summary of today's round was, I birdied all of the par 5s, took advantage of them, and made a great birdie on No. 4. Any time you can birdie 4, you figure you're picking up almost at least a stroke on the field.
I played solid golf. And I think I was telling someone outside, I think I hit No. 8 fairway to 18; I hit all of the fairways. Started to get in a groove, swing really well starting kind of the middle of the round.

Q. Was it still pretty benign out there in the afternoon or what was the course like when you were out there?
RICKY BARNES: It was. I don't think the fairways are rolling out quite like a few years in the past, and maybe even last year that I remember. I know they got a lot of rain last week. But the ball was still.
Flying pretty good out there, and the greens were receptive. So if you drove it well, you know, you're still getting far enough up where you weren't having too far of a club in; whereas I think even Monday into holes like 11 and stuff, we were hitting 4- and 3-irons and I was able to get up to I think a 6-iron today.

Q. You've kind of paced yourself early this year, playing in only five events coming in, probably I'm guessing because of your back. How has that altered your preparation, and also, has it in a way helped keep you fresh?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, it's probably good and bad for me. I don't do very well on the sideline, and that bodes well when my back was hurting. I was trying to do too much stuff to help it; almost over-rehabbing. Finally I got an injection, it's about ten weeks ago now. It's holding up. I've talked it a lot of people, saying I'm doing the right things. I know I'm doing the right things. I think it's probably helping me. Years past, after this round, I would go straight to the trailer, get a workout in, maybe hit a few balls.
Now, not that I know of option but to go ice, relax, and watch a little TV.

Q. What kind of injection? What kind of problems?
RICKY BARNES: Cortisone. Just I was having kind of a couple bulging disks in the L4-L5 and the L5-S1. I needed to get the inflammation down. It kept on pressing against it. Don't wish that upon anybody.

Q. Describe the attitude and mood when you have so many red numbers on the back, as opposed to an opener in another tournament where par is good?
RICKY BARNES: On the PGA Tour, as well, some tournaments early on the West Coast, they get really going. Some tournaments, you just kind of hang around and you play a good weekend.
We started off like this last year I think. There were a couple of 6s and 5s and maybe even a 7 last year. Even Tom played well I think early last year, and Freddie. There were some numbers I know, early, last year. The course will change each and every day. The ball will roll out a little bit. The greens are firm going to firm up, so you might have a club less but the ball is going to bounce more on the greens.
So I know that. Fortunately I have been here two other years. I have always watched it on TV but I'm getting more mature and more patient out there, and I think it's starting to pay off.

Q. Could you talk about 2003 a little bit and being on the board like that the way you were?
RICKY BARNES: It was fun. I mean, I stayed pretty much right above our heads, a couple of doors down above our heads. And the camaraderie, I don't know if people know, but the British Amateur Champion when I won is caddying for José Maria Olazábal and I had not seen him since pretty much; so about nine years later.
He came up to me on Monday, and we spent a lot of time together when I was here in 2003. So nothing but smiles and good memories when I saw Alex this week.
And it's just different. You're kind of the underdog. No one really knows who you are. And I would say, if anything, the crowd loves the amateurs and the past champions here the most.

Q. Can you go through your six birdies today, details on clubs and yardages?
RICKY BARNES: Did I have six birdies? Yeah, okay. So I birdied 2. Actually got away with a drive. Pulled it a little bit and laid up to a great yardage and hit it about six feet on No. 2.
Pulled a driver and just didn't get up-and-down on 7. Hit in the front bunker on 7 and made bogey.
On 8, hit a driver, 3-wood about pin-high left and hit a great pretty much flop shot over the mound to about another six feet again. I had pretty much the same distance put on 2 and 8.
9, driver, 9-iron to ten feet right over the pin. Slick putt but made that to get to 2-under.
And then on the back, I just started to hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. Put myself in good positions on No. 10, 11, 12.
13, hit a great 3-wood and 4-iron, came up just short of the green and got up-and-down.
15, good drive down the right side and hit a 3-iron on the right front fringe which made a pretty easy 2-putt. And then pars on 17 and 18.

Q. You talk about patience and maturity, and you look at Matt Kuchar is up there, and kind of a similar situation; it just takes time here, right?
RICKY BARNES: I hope so. I mean, I would love to have his year last year. A lot of people would love to have his year last year, too. I know he came back one the Nationwide Tour after winning on Tour --

Q. For this tournament, too.
RICKY BARNES: Well, you have to get back here first, though. That's kind of what I'm explaining. Yeah, he did have early success, but just by you winning the Amateur and playing well doesn't mean you're going to come back and win next year. I was one shot away in '03 for coming back in 2004, and I was absent the next six years. It's not an easy tournament to get into. It's self-explanatory; you have to either win or be Top-50 in the world and those are not easy accolades. I'm back and I would love to be back each and every year from here until eternity.

Q. Being the wise old man you are today, the par 5 success that you had today, is that a tactic you brought here?
RICKY BARNES: I think you need to. It's kind of self-explanatory. In past years when Tiger and Phil have won, and Zach Johnson talked about laying up but he still tore up the par 5s. He might not have been able to reach them in two with 5- and 4-irons but was still taking advantage of them.
If you are going to play well out here, you are not going to live and die by playing the par 3s and par 4s well out here. You have to cash in on some par 5s. You probably have to get at least two or three of them a day, and then take advantage when you hit good drives on a hole and you get those wedges and 9-irons in your hand.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297