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Monday, June 22, 2009Ricky Barnes (2009)
Ricky Barnes

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Q. What is the perspective, Ricky, that you take away from this?

RICKY BARNES: I just didn't settle down very well late in the front nine. I think I got, what, four bogeys in a row. That was pretty sour. But I'll take away the last six, seven holes. I struck it pretty good. Got a mud ball on 12. Made bogey. But the last hole, I probably played them as well as anyone else coming in.

Q. Are you looking at it half‑full now?

RICKY BARNES: Yeah, I'm probably going to get into the tournaments I shouldn't be. Guys out of my category aren't in the British Open right now. That qualified me. I'm going to be in the 2010 Masters. I'm going to be close to home next year for the U.S. Open.

I'm further where I need to be. I've got get up on that PGA TOUR money list. I want to be the race for the chase at the end.

Obviously I would have liked one better. Or at least have that putt go in the last hole to see what it would have done to Lucas's 4‑footer. But was I stoked with what I shot today? No. But was I happy with the last six holes? Yes. So I'll take that with me over to Hartford.

Q. Driver on 18?

RICKY BARNES: Absolutely.

Q. Every day?

RICKY BARNES: No they moved the tee up 45 yards. So I wanted to take all the bunkers out of play. I'm sure Lucas hit probably a 6‑iron to take them out this way and I took them out.

Q. What was last night like sleeping?

RICKY BARNES: It was a great week. If you told me I would have been 2‑under, if you would have told me I was second, bridesmaid isn't too bad. But when you know you're right there, it's a tough one to swallow.

But I would say a lot, lot more good came out of this week than bad.

Q. What was it like last night sleeping on the lead after having a six‑shot lead?

RICKY BARNES: It was busy. You tire yourself out. If you come out practice at 12:00, tee off 1:30 go back have time to think about it. Don't get off the golf course. Don't get home until 8:45. Waking up at 6:30.

Not having too much time to think. But I'm a heavy sleeper. Once you get into bed, I'm out.

Q. One bridesmaid at the U.S. Open is tough to swallow; how do you think Phil is handling the five?

RICKY BARNES: He had a funny comment, they had only one silver medal: "One of you guys choose it."

I said, "Whoever is the oldest out of you two."

He said, "I got four, I'm plenty good." (Laughter) so we got a kick out of that.

But you know you're doing something well, though, when you're getting a silver medal. I'd love to improve on it one day and get a second or third USGA Championship.

Q. Are you going to look back and say, this is the one if I played differently I could have won?

RICKY BARNES: Yeah, I probably ‑‑ I don't know if I made that many mental club errors if I would have played it differently. Just needed to hit better shots.

I got a few mud balls, which was unlucky, probably, with some bad swings. But other than that, you know, it was ‑‑ we might not even be here talking about this if that putt goes in. The putt almost defied gravity on the last hole. If I would have hit that putt 10 out of 10 times every time and it probably would have gone in nine out of 10 times. So what are you going to do.

Q. What's your perspective on Lucas who has won one time on a PGA TOUR something like that able to come up completely unexpected. I don't think there was an analyst around here who would have picked it and win a U.S. Open?

RICKY BARNES: Neither was I. I think it would have been the teeter‑totter either way. To win on the PGA TOUR is not easy.

So I think I know it's a major. I know it's tougher conditions. Might not have to hit that many fairways on the PGA TOUR. But week in week out we're playing against these guys.

So it just says how good the competition is out there and how tough it is to win anywhere, let alone a major.

Q. You haven't had the easiest first shot of the day. You got out of it okay. Did you think that's why you exhaled?

RICKY BARNES: I think it settled me down. But we waited about 20 minutes on the next hole. Two groups still had to tee off. Didn't come back, hit a great shot. And I actually thought I was going to settle down after maybe making birdie on 4; got a bad lie over the green, actually hit a somewhat decent shot.

Hit two great shots hit it over the green. I don't think too many people hit two shots over the green on 4.

So that might have been a little unlucky. And then I didn't settle down. I hit the fairway on 5. Caught a mud ball in the hay and got on that train for about four or five holes.

Q. When you do get on that train, what's going through your mind?

RICKY BARNES: You don't want to know. (Laughter).

No, it's tough to get ‑‑ especially in that stretch of holes, you know, if I would have done that on 8, 9, 10, 11, I would have hit the downwind holes on 12, 13, 14 it might have been a little easier, but you're coming back in the wind on 7, probably the hardest hole of the championship.

I hit a decent drive. I absolutely smoke a 3‑iron short of the green on a par‑4, smoked another 3‑iron on eight and I didn't catch it great.

9's no gimmee, either. Fortunately got up‑and‑down on 9, up‑and‑down on 10, and I probably finally didn't get my feet wet until the 12th tee.

Q. Can you tell us what it's like just miss winning the Open and you're going through that line of fans and they're serenading you and everybody has all these nice things to say to you?

RICKY BARNES: It's great. Also something to be said about all the Thursday fans coming out. I think I signed more Thursday tickets than Monday tickets. So it's great.

I think that's why they love coming back here. The USGA, you don't get any more fans out here and they let you know about it, too.

Q. Looked like you were only one off the lead on 16. Are you thinking you still have a chance, you can still win this thing?

RICKY BARNES: After I made that putt on 15, hit two great shots on 15. Probably almost went in going by the hole. I don't know. Had a good up‑and‑down. And I did, I smoked a drive on 16. Hit the shot I wanted to out of the fairway. Hit a decent putt a little more speed might have gone in and I hit quality shots going in. 2 on 15, two on 16, tee shot on 16, and two on 17. So I'll take it into next week at Hartford.

Q. Can you talk about playing with Lucas today?

RICKY BARNES: It was fun. We're similar in age. He played a little bit of college golf with my brother. Played a little bit of college golf with me. A lot in common. And we didn't get to talk much today, because I was all over the map early on. But coming down we had a few words.

We had fun. He's a really good guy and obviously an awesome guy to play with, as well.

Q. Do you think this changes you as a pro?

RICKY BARNES: No. I think it just ‑‑ I might have earned a little bit more recognition again, just because I think forever it was Ricky Barnes, the 2002 U.S. Amateur Champ and I finally earned my card. I earned a second‑place finish here. But I'm looking forward to dwelling on this toward the end of the day.

Like I said, I'm looking forward to getting back on the TOUR, moving my way up the FedEx, playing in the majors, and probably where I thought I would have been three or four years ago.

Q. David Duvall was reflecting yesterday on the journey he's been on, the height of the game and the lows he felt. And he said at this point, he said you can draw on the fact that you've gone out and won before, in this case a major championship; sure, that helps you. But he said: I've also learned how to lose and I can draw on a lot from being into the lows. Do you find you're in that point right now? Looking at the bad patches that you've had, you can make yourself a better player?

RICKY BARNES: Yeah, I think if you don't take something out of even really good rounds and really bad rounds, then you're probably not suited for the game. You probably learn more when you play bad than when you actually play good, because when you play good, nothing bothers you.

I'll take some of the holes that I didn't play good and see whether I could have done something better mentally. That's one thing I definitely need to get past is, it's tough out there. Nerves and mentally, it's a grind.

So it felt a little bit more than 17 holes today; I'll tell you that.

Q. How much does the check mean at this stage of your career?

RICKY BARNES: You know, if you're playing for the money, don't play. I think that's in all sports. But it helps. Not only that, it more so helps toward that money list. I want to maintain and get a secure spot on TOUR.

So this is just a minor stepping stone.

Q. Are your feelings the same as when you spoke to us when you had the lead? If you're disappointed, you don't seem to be showing it. How are you able to do that?

RICKY BARNES: Probably disappointed because I didn't win. But if you would have told me, like I said, give me second at the beginning of the week, I would have given them back the courtesy car and I would have gone back to my house.

It's okay. It is what it is. I'll take a lot more second‑place finishes the rest of my career.

Q. Were you able to soak in playing in the last pairing on the last day of the Open?

RICKY BARNES: Not yet. Will do tonight or something.

Q. You said you've known Lucas for a long time. What is it about him that made him into a U.S. Open Champion; his personality?

RICKY BARNES: He's a good ball‑striker. Obviously early on in the week, we weren't in the final pairing because we were getting up‑and‑down all over the place. We were hitting the ball really well. It wasn't like we were holing putts all over the map.

Good ball‑striker. All‑American in college, has won on TOUR. And obviously the U.S. Open Champ.

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