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March 29 2012

9:00 PM

Barnes makes quick turnaround

By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM

HUMBLE, Texas -- A case of food poisoning can …. refresh you?

Even Ricky Barnes had to laugh at what he’d just said.

He spent Tuesday night battling a nasty case of food poisoning and Thursday morning shooting a 6-under-par 66 in the opening round of the Shell Houston Open.

“I recovered on and off the golf course,’’ he said. “It was a good turn-around.  I was fortunate I wasn't in the pro-am yesterday.  Allowed me to get some rest.  I literally just came out and putted yesterday for about 45 minutes.  It was a good turn-around, kind of refreshed me and I guess put it in perspective.’’

It did something alright. Something as in no bogeys and a spot one shot behind the early co-leaders Angel Cabrera and Carl Petterson.

Barnes, one of a group of players hoping to play his way into the Masters this week, played an almost flawless round, finishing just before the horn blew to suspend play.

“Lot of tap-ins when I was making pars and, like you said, I mean two tap-ins out of the fairway and a two-putt on No. 13 for birdie,’’ said Barnes, whose best finish this year is a third at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am. “So, it was pretty stress-free.’’

The former U.S. Amateur champ tied for 20th at last year’s Masters and shared 10th in 2010 and would love to get back, but said he’s not thinking about that. At least right now.

“I’m swinging free right now,’’ he said. “You won’t think about that until Sunday if you’re close.’’

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