After two days playing golf and hanging around Chicago, Barnes, who began the week as the seventh alternate, caught a flight home to California on Monday afternoon but on his way he received a text message from the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews that he’d moved to first alternate.
Barnes took a red-eye from San Francisco to London and arrived at Royal St. George’s at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, just enough time to play 14 practice holes.
At 1 p.m. on Thursday Barnes learned that he was in the field when Nicolas Colsaerts withdrew because of an elbow injury he suffered while riding a scooter around Sandwich. It’s the second year in a row Barnes earned a spot as an alternate.
“I didn’t want to be the guy who was in California who got in,” said Barnes, who opened with a 2-under 68 and is tied for sixth.