NCGA Golf

Spring 2017

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It would be a memorable precursor to Barnes' pro- fessional resume, which includes a second-best ever 23 consecutive cuts made on the Nationwide (now Web.com) Tour, earning his PGA Tour card in 2008 and finishing as runner-up at the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. Now playing his ninth season on Tour and striving to notch his first victory, Barnes' primary motivation con- tinues to be the Ricky & Suzanne Barnes Foundation, established seven years ago with the mission of promoting the physical and mental well-being of children. In between Tour events the now 36-year-old, who today resides in Phoenix with his wife, Suzanne, and two children, took time to reflect on living his dream. You excelled in golf at an early age. Did you train with a coach or get involved in junior programs in Northern California? At a young age I played every sport imagined for a kid and was good at most of them but didn't really use a coach too much for golf. I always had a pretty natural and athletic move at the ball. And yes, I was involved with the Junior Golf Association of Northern California. What was that first experience at Augusta National like? Maybe my favorite memory of Augusta as an amateur was playing a practice round with Arnold Palmer at The Masters. Very special and he was the most outgoing personality in golf. Since securing your PGA Tour card in 2008, has life on the tour and the competition been all you anticipated? The competition gets better every year on tour. You have to stay on top of it, otherwise there's plenty of young talent ready to take your position. I feel like my game and attitude has evolved over time but I'm always looking for ways to improve (i.e. full swing, putting, chipping, etc.) tockton native Ricky Barnes first skyrocketed to the top of the golf scene after winning the 2002 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club. It was a ride that lasted all the way to the winner's circle at the 2003 Masters, where he was crowned as low amateur. While at Augusta National, the then-four-time All-American University of Arizona senior played alongside the universe's No. 1 golfer, Tiger Woods, and after round one, Barnes had the advan- tage – 69 to 76. COURTESY USGA

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