April 8 2011
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Ricky Barnes doesn’t exactly have a lot of Masters experience with this being just the third of his career and only second as a professional. But he’s certainly made the most of his trips to Augusta National.
Last year, Barnes tied for 10th, which is what got him in the field for this year’s tournament. Friday, he shot a 71 to get to 5 under and within reach of the lead heading into the weekend.
At one point, however, Barnes had it as low as 7 under after birdies on Nos. 2, 4 and 6, and that left a little bit of a bad taste in Barnes’ mouth.
“Pretty bittersweet,” Barnes said of the round. “I was in position to take advantage and take care of those par-5s again today. I just didn't do it today. No ifs, ands or buts about it; I didn't get it done on the par-5s.”
That wasn’t the case in the opening round for the former U.S. Amateur champ. He birdied all four par-5s Thursday.
Still, considering where Barnes was at one point in career -- he was off the PGA TOUR from 2004-08 -- he’s happy to be here and in contention at a major again. Just two years ago, Barnes tied for second at the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black.
He’s also had other big performances in some big events, including a tie for third at last year’s Memorial tournament presented by Morgan Stanley and earlier this year he finished fourth at The Honda Classic.
”I think you've done something right, obviously to, get back here,” Barnes said. “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.
“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.”