Like Father Like Son

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 12, 2003, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- The kid is not stagestruck.
 
Ricky Barnes might be at the Masters, instead of watching it on TV with his roommates at the University of Arizona, the way he has the last three years. And the guy playing alongside him might be Tiger Woods, instead of just another college senior whose monthly living expenses don't equal Woods' cleaning bill. And judging by the scores, Augusta National might be playing longer and tougher than it has at any time in the last 15 years.
 
But the kid does not scare easily.
 
After completing 28 holes Friday, he was at 1-under and clinging to fourth place.
 
'If you come out here ready to settle for a missed cut or something like that,' Barnes said, 'you're out here for the wrong reason.'
 
At least Barnes comes by his bravado honestly, same as his athletic pedigree.
 
His father, Bruce, played two seasons in the NFL as a punter for the New England Patriots, and older brother Andy, who is carrying his bag, played on the Canadian tour and is spending this season playing Monday qualifiers on the PGA Tour.
 
Talk about growing up in a competitive household: the brothers have been playing against each other since Ricky was as tall as a putter and now he's 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds. They went head-to-head two months ago at the Tucson Open, and the desire to zing each other hasn't subsided one bit.
 
Coming off the 18th hole after his opening round 69 - seven shots better than playing partner Woods - someone asked Andy Barnes whether Ricky was young enough to ignore the pressure that was mounting.
 
'He's just dumb enough ... ' Andy began.
 
But his questioner cut him off with, 'I said 'young enough.''
 
'I heard what you said,' Andy said, flashing an ever-widening grin.
 
The only thing that really matters at the moment, though, is whether Ricky Barnes is good enough to hold his place among the pros, as opposed to the college crowd he's been running with. Phil Mickelson, who played his college golf at nearby rival Arizona State, has watched Barnes long enough to vouch for him.
 
'I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed there for 72 holes. In fact,' Mickelson said, 'I expect that type of play out of him.'
 
Barnes didn't know what to expect when he arrived at the Masters. The only thing that worried him in the least was getting his opening tee shot into the fairway. So naturally, Woods sidled over, said, 'Relax, things are going to be OK. It's going to be a long day.'
 
Sure enough, Barnes short-armed his opening swing and sent a hook skidding into the left rough. Being the cool character he is, Barnes promptly found it and knocked it on the green. Tiger sidled up a second time.
 
'He said, 'See'' Barnes recalled, 'and I was like, 'OK.''
 
OK doesn't quite capture the up-and-down quality of Barnes' day. He was great in the lousy weather that dominated the morning and not so great in the benign conditions of the afternoon. The only constant was that he followed all but one of his bogeys with a birdie at the next hole, and after making a double at the 14th, he nearly eagled No. 15.
 
'That's what I was most proud about,' Barnes said.
 
It was harder to say what made Bruce and Cathy Barnes proudest.
 
His mother, a schoolteacher, probably was most impressed by his demeanor
 
'He was a hothead growing up, but now we think it's because he's such a perfectionist. It's one reason why he reminds me of Tiger Woods.'
 
His length off the tee is another. But that's not what impressed his father.
 
'It's probably his imagination,' Bruce Barnes said. 'When he gets into trouble, he can be really creative. He's got a short game I'd kill for. He had that early on.'
 
That's one reason why Bruce didn't mind that Ricky's last competitive football game was his freshman year in high school.
 
'I never pushed them in that direction. I knew for a fact unless you're really good AND really lucky, the chances of a long career in the NFL are really bad.'
 
Besides, nobody in the family ever lacked for competitive juices. Though Ricky gave up basketball in high school as well, he still plays pickup games at school, where one of his roommates was starting Wildcat forward Rich Anderson.
 
'That's why,' Barnes said, pointing, 'I have these six stitches over my eye.'
 
If the apple really doesn't fall from the tree, it's easy to see where Ricky learned his deadpan delivery. Asked about his NFL career, his dad summed it up this way:
 
'I got picked the same year the Patriots took Sam Cunningham, John Hannah and Darryl Stingley. It was a pretty good draft,' he recalled, 'except for me.'
 
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."