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April 11, 2003

Ricky Barnes


BILLY MORRIS: Good evening ladies and gentlemen we're delighted to have Ricky Barnes with us. Ricky Barnes has played 28 holes so far and is 1-under par. This is his first Masters, as you know. He's an amateur. And we're delighted to have him with us tonight.

Ricky, let's just start with some questions.

Q. How would you sum up today?

RICKY BARNES: As a whole I was very pleased with the way I played. A few bad shots here and there. But the most proud I was, was that I was able to bounce back from bogeys. Every bogey I had the first round I bounced back with a birdie, either the next hole or the hole after that.

And then this afternoon got off to a rough start, bogeyed 10 and then I doubled 14. But I was able to come back and I almost eagled 15 and was able to birdie it and then pars from 16 all the way to 1.

Q. What did your brother say to you after the double on 14?

RICKY BARNES: Relax. 15 is a -- if I hit a good drive, that's an eagle hole, and just mainly concentrate on the drive. And I was able to. I hit one of my best drives on the day there. Which was a momentum booster. I hit a great shot in there and things were back on track to where they were in the morning.

Q. Tell me about the drop on number one you just had.

RICKY BARNES: Fortunately I was able to take that. It was so muddy. If I was in grass where I was it probably would have still been okay. I would have played the same hook just around the opposite side of that tree. And fortunately I was able to go to the right of it and I took it and came away with a par. Which is what I was hoping for when I was over there.

Q. In the first round on 18 what kind of iron did you hit out of there? How far were you from the hole?

RICKY BARNES: Probably like 190, something like that. And I hit a hook 6-iron to about 8 feet or something like that.

Q. Did playing with Tiger Woods today, did that elevate your game?

RICKY BARNES: I think I concentrated really good out there. Off the first tee I hit a little quick left one and he came up to me and said, relax, things are going to be okay. It's going to be a long day. And that was kind of reassuring to get that after the first hook. And things went well right after that. I hit a great recovery shot and he came up to me and said, "See?" And I was like, "Okay."

Q. Tiger was limping pretty severely coming off the 17 green. Is there any way to know what that was all about?

RICKY BARNES: I'll leave that up to Tiger. He knows more than me. But there was something that was going on. He'll let you know.

Q. You were a good athlete in a couple sports in high school. What made you decide ultimately on golf?

RICKY BARNES: Having a little success in golf always makes you want to pursue a sport, play football and all the other sports in high school and then golf became serious once you start getting recruited about your junior year and then you just kind of give up the rest of the sports. You get a scholarship in college.

Q. Still play ball with Rich Anderson?

RICKY BARNES: That's why I have these 6 stitches right over my eye.

Q. Did you visualize about how today might be and what was your best advice? What were your nightmares of what today could have been playing in this stage against this competition?

RICKY BARNES: I don't think I had any nightmares. I am playing in the Masters. Not too many people can say that. So I don't think there's any nightmares coming into today. My main concern probably going into the round was just the first tee shot. Putting that in the fairway. I knew that was when I was going to be the most nervous. And I was. Pretty much just that. Getting over the first tee and getting the round started.

Q. How does this differ or was similar to your experience of being at the US Amateur last year at Oakland Hills?

RICKY BARNES: It's that big level. It's another level. The US Amateur is the biggest amateur event that we can win as amateurs. And that gets the nerves pumping a little bit. Knowing that if you get to the finals you can make it here. But once you get here, it's a whole other level. You're playing with the best in the world and it definitely makes you want to elevate your game and know where you have to get to compete with these guys.

Q. If anybody would have told you this morning before you went out that you would be 7 shots better than Tiger Woods for the first round, what would you have told them?

RICKY BARNES: Probably "You're kidding," No, I wasn't thinking about that I beat Tiger by 7, but rather I went out there and played a solid round. Posted a good number. And that's what I was looking forward to going into the day.

Q. You have to blame him for this, but your brother said after your 18, you're just dumb enough to think you can win this tournament. How does that make you feel?

RICKY BARNES: I mean he's probably right. But I think if you come out here settling for a missed cut or something like that, you're out here for the wrong reasons.

Q. I think he meant you weren't intimidated by this at all. Were you?

RICKY BARNES: No, the first tee, like I said, just being announced with the big guys being on the first tee at Augusta. But after that things kind of got on a roll and I was really enjoying myself out there, as well, with the guys.

Q. Your college team is playing 36 holes today.

RICKY BARNES: Yeah, they played 36 holes today. So they played 8 more than me.

BILLY MORRIS: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. And Ricky, good luck to you tomorrow.

End of FastScripts....

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