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April 8, 2011

Ricky Barnes


RONALD TOWNSEND: Good afternoon. We would like to welcome Ricky Barnes back. As you know, this is his third Masters appearance, best finish was tied for 10th in 2010, and was the low amateur in 2003, and he finished his first round yesterday with a 68, and he was 1-under today.
Any comments before or would you like to go directly to questions.
RICKY BARNES: Questions are fine.

Q. Can you briefly summarize your birdies today and what clubs you hit?
RICKY BARNES: No. 2, I got up-and-down out of the front right trap. Kind of put myself in a good spot just to get up-and-down.
4, I hit a great 7-iron in there I think about 15 feet past the hole. Made a little birdie there.
13 I had a great look. I probably had about a 10-footer for eagle. Just sucks that I had to be so defensive. Anything above that pin today, you have to be pretty defensive coming down.
14, I hit a good 8-iron about 15 feet behind the hole and made that back up the hill.

Q. Did you feel the course played more difficult today or was it the same as yesterday?
RICKY BARNES: I think there's a few more pins that you have to be more defensive today. They came out and stuck a few of the ones where you had to play away from it.
I wish that was the case of the difference between my 4-under and 1-under but it wasn't. I actually hit really great shots into some of the tough pins and even had a couple uphill putts at those pins. The difference from yesterday and today, pretty simple: Par 5 scoring.

Q. You've been here three times and you've always played well. How much inspiration do you get just from being here?
RICKY BARNES: It's good. I think you've done something right, obviously to, get back here. Last year obviously a top 16 to get back here.
But you know, I would like to get back here, meaning that I was in the winner's circle here, or somewhere else, and make it a habit. But I definitely do feel comfortable out here. I think a lot of the fans and fairways kind of suit my eye and get me pretty concentrated on the targets.

Q. You got to 7-under at one point. Can you just talk about the emotions of the kind of up-and-down round and how hard it is to control that in a place like this?
RICKY BARNES: It was. I got to 7-under, and I actually felt pretty calm, and then I 3-putted 8 and it seemed like maybe the putter didn't feel very comfortable in my hands. Maybe a little nerves.
I mean, I was probably, you know, a couple of feet away on my chip on 8 to go to 8-under. It started to trickle back and I 3-putted it. I still put my ball in really good positions off the tee. I want to say I hit a lot of fairways, pretty much everything on the back nine, as well, except for 11, and still made par on 11.
So driving it well. Even hitting it well. I just got a little shaky, probably from about 8 to 12 with the putter. It just didn't treat me very good.

Q. Describe the shot that you made to qualify for this year's Tournament last year, on the 72nd hole, and on a 1 to 10, rank it degree of difficulty?
RICKY BARNES: Well, the chip-in was probably a 6 degree of difficulty. To get from my first shot to where the second shot ended up was probably a 9 out of 10.
I pushed a drive way right and my brother wanted me to just chip out, get a wedge or 9-iron on the green and got out of here. And I told him, I liked the high 7-iron up and over the tree. He kind of pulled the bag over to the side, and he's usually pretty stubborn, as am I. He walked away and said, "This is on you." (Laughter) meaning it wasn't his call.
I hit a great shot on to the green and rolled to the front edge, and like you said is, I chipped in for birdie.

Q. So you were within one shot of qualifying?
RICKY BARNES: I actually think it turns out I could have made double-bogey and got in, you know, but birdie was much nicer.

Q. What's your brother's name, please?

Q. You've started to develop quite a degree in terms of contending in majors. Is there something about playing at this highest level that you like or suits your game? What do you think that is?
RICKY BARNES: I mean, I definitely hope it's not that I get more focus for majors. I don't think it's that. I do like fast greens, and it's kind of weird that even when I wasn't putting well today, I was leaving them short. I don't think you see many guys coming into the booth here saying they played a pretty good round and left a lot of putts short. That's what happened, I was getting short with my stroke. It wasn't flowing very well and the tempo wasn't very good. I hope to make myself get into contention each and every week, in all tournaments, not just majors. But I think it's just because pars don't kill you; even though I hit the ball really well on the last three or four holes, had really great looks, 2-putting won't kill you. Whereas some other tournaments, you're going to get lapped.

Q. So all things considered, how do you feel about this second round?
RICKY BARNES: Pretty bittersweet. Like I said, I was in position to take advantage and take care of those par 5s again today. You know, I birdied 2, hit the fairway on 8 and got up close, and hit a great shot into 13. I just didn't do it today. No ifs, ands or buts about it; I didn't get it done on the par 5s.

Q. You came here as the Amateur champion and had some success and then you had the long gap in getting back here. Was that a tough stretch where you were frustrated each April seeing this tournament go on and you weren't a part of it?
RICKY BARNES: I wouldn't say so much frustrated with not being back here, because obviously limited field; biggest field ever here, 98, 99 guys, but not being on the PGA TOUR, that was probably the toughest thing to swallow. Then the competitor comes out in you and you say, I'm never going to play Augusta until I get back there as a pro.
I was fortunate to do it last year, and hopefully we'll keep on doing it.
RONALD TOWNSEND: Thank you and good luck this weekend.

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