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August 24, 2002

Ricky Barnes


BETH MURRISON: Ricky Barnes, winner of the semi-final match against Bill Haas. Going into the finals tomorrow, can you give us some thoughts on the match?

RICKY BARNES: Today was a really fun match for me. I think Bill and I were both looking forward to it. The chance of playing in The Masters and like I was saying, it was one of the quickest days, time flew out there. We were on the 17th tee box and it felt like we had just started the first hole all square. My game, my long ball got a little sketchy on the back nine. But I had been working hard on my short game and I think it showed out there for me. My short game really came through for me on the back nine.

Q. It felt fast because it was fast. You played the first six holes in 50 minutes. You were flying it seemed like.

RICKY BARNES: Yeah, we both have a lot of the same game. We know what we're going to do and we're going to go do it. And I think it was good for us. We were both doing the same thing. We talked to each other the same. We walked at the same pace. So we really had a good time out there.

Q. How good was the up-and-down at 13? Bill said that was one of the best he's ever seen.

RICKY BARNES: That was the shot of the day. A lot of people talked about 11. 11 was tough, but 13 was definitely the huge point of the match, I think. I just had won 12 and I stole one on 13 with that bunker shot.

Q. At 14, that had to be pretty big there?

RICKY BARNES: Yeah, I had a tough lie over there. I tried to get a little cute with it. That third shot was just, I mean I hit a couple shots today that if you would have given me a small bucket I would have never got them inside of it. And I guess it was kind of my day with the lob wedge today.

Q. Can you talk about that putt on 11. That was huge.

RICKY BARNES: That was the only way I could have played that shot. I think there was no other way I could have got at the pin. I definitely wasn't looking to chip that in. I was just playing for par. And we, I hit it pretty much right exactly where we said we needed to hit it. And once I saw it start trickling over the back I told myself, this is going to be a good shot. I'm walking down and Bill's like, this could go in. This is when it just started to roll. And I just am like -- and it went down there and boom. It was amazing.

Q. What were the emotions you go through on 18, first with the drive and then watching Bill?

RICKY BARNES: Yeah, that was tough. You get up and you can't really tell where his ball is and I'm trying to get my ball in the fairway. And I don't do that. Then I had a decent lie and I, my feeling was, my brother maybe thought I should lay up. But I felt I could get some good lumber on it. And I figured my lob wedge had been treating me good around the green and if I could get it up there somewhere close to the green I felt I had a good chance of making par. I did. I caught it really well. Pushed it a little bit. And after Bill hit his third shot I kind of just told myself, give myself a chance for the win kind of thing. I knew if I put it within 10 feet I would probably have the putt for the win.

Q. Were you surprised to see his third shot from that distance to finish where it did?

RICKY BARNES: Yeah. I just didn't see him being right of the pin. After he hit it, he let go of the club, I knew it wasn't that good. I turned around and it came, I didn't see it going all the way off the green, I thought he just would be on the front edge. But that was one of those days.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the work you put in on the short game just to make it a strength in your game?

RICKY BARNES: Yeah. A long time in my college career this year I had been hitting the ball very well I was very satisfied with the way I was hitting it. And I had always been, I had always had a really good short game and it started to fail on me. And so I decided to stop worrying about hitting the ball so good and putting it in there so good and I just started working on my short game. Lots of chipping and lots of, a lot of putting. And I think that when my putting came around so did my chipping. I think it was just the whole feel aspect of it.

Q. How long have you been clawing it?

RICKY BARNES: I would say about five months now. It was -- maybe four. Mid April.

Q. Was that because your putting was no good or what?

RICKY BARNES: It was one of those things where I was working with a lot of things. Maybe a little head, something in my head wasn't going right. And I had saw a couple guys using the claw. And I was just messing around with it. And I started to make putts, made putts. And I finally told myself I'm just going to start doing everything with the claw. And ever since then I've been playing pretty well.

Q. Do you normally play such sloping greens?

RICKY BARNES: No. I don't think there's any greens out there like Oakland Hills greens. If you find some, give me a call.

Q. You'll see some next spring.

RICKY BARNES: Yeah. That's right. I'll see those.

Q. That shot on 16. Did you have a good lie out of the rough?


Q. You were confident that was going to make it?

RICKY BARNES: I, actually I pushed it. I told my brother, this is going to come out dead. And I was aimed left. And it came out hot right. Which a lot of fliers do. And I wouldn't say I caught a flier, but it just jumped right off of there. And I knew once I hit it I caught it clean enough to get it over. But I pushed the shot, there's no doubt about it. I pushed it.

Q. What was the club there?


Q. How soon after shaking Bill's hand did you think about Augusta?

RICKY BARNES: I think when I went over for the other interview. Right when I saw the camera. It was kind of -- right when he missed, you know, I think we both didn't know what to say to each other after the match. But right after that was all done it kind of soaked in a little bit then I'm in the finals and I'm going Augusta.

BETH MURRISON: For tomorrow is there anything that you'll work on tonight or pretty much stay in the place?

RICKY BARNES: My swing got a little quick on the back nine. I just want to stay a lot more calm. I have been hitting the ball very well this week. All week. I've been satisfied with the way I'm hitting the ball. And I wasn't upset with the way I was hitting the ball until like I started to spray it a little bit on 14 and from on there. So just need to be more relaxed. I think it was because I was rushing it. I was getting ahead of myself out there. I just need to be more calm, cool, collected tomorrow.

BETH MURRISON: Also it's 36 holes tomorrow.

RICKY BARNES: That's the other thing. Let the match come to you. It's going to be 36 holes. And the first nine holes is almost, it's not nothing, but you can totally recover. If you lose the first nine holes in an 18 hole match, you might as well put the sticks away and walk in. But it's going to be a long day. And I'm just going to let the match come to me.

Q. How well do you know the two guys in the other match?

RICKY BARNES: I know Hunter. I played with Hunter in the stroke play. So it would be kind of funny if I met up with him in the finals. But actually I don't even know Dustin Bray. I just said hello to him walking back and forth around here.

Q. What's your favorite public golf course in Arizona?

RICKY BARNES: Oh, in Arizona? I think I've only played one. My favorite public course, I knew that answer. Bethpage. No. That was tough.

BETH MURRISON: Anybody else?

RICKY BARNES: Nobody else. I can eat. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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