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June 2, 2011

Ricky Barnes


Q. What were you able to do especially in the later part of the day that nobody else was, which is go low here in the afternoon?
RICKY BARNES: You know, played solid. When I put myself in a jam I kind of made a good putt for par to keep the round going, and I hit a lot of fairways today. You know, I drove the ball pretty well. I think I only missed two fairways the whole day, so that was a huge key to getting around here because of how long the rough is.

Q. So was it difficult or were you just playing some of your best right now?
RICKY BARNES: Well, the greens are receptive, so if you're driving it well and you get it up there and you get 9 and 8-irons in your hand you're able to stop them pretty quickly.

Q. You had success here obviously last year, you were right in contention last year. Do you feel like there was some momentum from last year you carried over?
RICKY BARNES: I think so, and a lot has to do with how I've been playing this year, too. I had a couple weeks where I didn't strike it all that great at Wachovia and PLAYERS, and I've been working hard and my coach kind of came out this week and ironed it out and I feel confident of the way I've been striking the ball.

Q. You've got to feel like you're in a good position since you played well here in the afternoon?
RICKY BARNES: Yeah, it's quite a turnaround. We're first off tomorrow, so it'll be bright and early. Like I was saying earlier, the greens are great. You hit them on line and they're going to go in, and that should be pretty true tomorrow considering we're first off.

Q. Your first Memorial last year, you finished T3. Starting like this this year, what about this course agrees with your game or your eye?
RICKY BARNES: You know, I think it's got a little bit of a major championship feel with the really long rough. You've got to have good distance control and quick greens. You know, they're receptive, but they're big, and if you put them on the right sides of the greens, you have pretty good looks at them. And that's what I did well. My birdie looks today were on the right side of the hole, uphill, and I was able to be aggressive.

Q. The last few years you've kind of put your name back into the discussion as far as your golf is concerned after having that great amateur career. What was the key to you getting back to that top level as a pro? What did you have to learn?
RICKY BARNES: You know, maturity, time management, and be realistic. You know, I think this game is going to humble you at some point, whether it's early or late or in the middle, and I was humbled early, worked hard, and then in 2008, I think, I had nine top 10s on the Nationwide and earned my card out here, and then once I got out here I was pretty determined to keep it.
It's just hard work, maturity, and learn a lot about yourself.

Q. Was there a light switch moment for you or something that clicked?
RICKY BARNES: I worked with a new coach, Dean Reinmuth. Like I said, I was maturing at the same time, and playing well, too. You've got to play well to breed confidence.
I would say the ultimate confidence booster was the 2009 U.S. Open to kind of get myself back on the map out on the PGA TOUR. I was starting to play pretty good, put myself into contention on the Nationwide, but obviously the exposure is ten times the amount when you get out here.

Q. When did you start working with Dean?
RICKY BARNES: I think '08, so we're coming up on a little over three years now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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