April 11, 2003
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Arizona's Ricky Barnes, seemingly unaware of the pressure of golf's most prestigious tournament, closed the first day of play at the 67th annual Masters tournament in fourth place at 1-under-par. He was one of only four golfers under par when play was halted because of darkness Friday evening.
Barnes carded an opening-round 69, the second-best score of the morning round. Through 10 holes of the second round, the UA senior is at 2-over-par, putting him at 1-under for the tournament. He trails tournament leader Mike Weir by five strokes.
Previously, he has competed at the U.S. Open twice-in 2000 and 2002. Last month Barnes tied for 18th at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson, making the cut in a PGA Tour event for the first time.
"If you come out here ready to settle for a missed cut or something like that," Barnes told the Associated Press, "you're out here for the wrong reason."
By winning the 2002 U.S. Amateur Championship, Barnes gained an automatic entry into the field and a pairing with Tiger Woods, the 2002 Masters champion. Woods finished action Friday at 2-over-par and is tied for 23rd.
''He made me feel relaxed,'' Barnes said about being paired with the world's No. 1 player. ''He told me to enjoy myself and things will go my way.''
Through 28 holes, the Stockton, Calif., native has made six birdies and 18 pars. Perhaps most impressive about his performance Friday was his resiliency as he followed all but one of his bogeys with a birdie at the next hole. After making double bogey at No. 14, he nearly eagled the 500-yard, par-5 15th hole.
Through nine scoring events this collegiate season, Barnes boasts a scoring average of 71.56 and has earned six top-ten finishes. He has helped his Arizona Wildcats to four tournament championships in its last five events.
Joining Barnes in the top-10 is former UA star Jim Furyk, who is tied for ninth place at 1-over-par with seven holes remaining in his second round.
Second-round play will resume at 8:20 a.m. EDT Saturday. Third-round pairings will be announced upon conclusion of the second round, and a two-tee start is anticipated to begin at approximately noon EDT on Saturday.