Upside Side Down


2009 U.S. OpenFARMINGDALE, N.Y. ' Youre Ricky Barnes. Youve fallen short of all the expectations, just another in a long line of young guys with talent and potential who didnt pan out, and suddenly you show up and youre running away with the U.S. Open, leading by six at one point.
Memphis or Hartford might be understandable. In fact, in the normal progression, it makes just a little sense to win first on the Nationwide Tour. But hes never even done that.
Certainly, you dont skip all of those steps, pop up and walk away with a U.S. Open.
For a stretch, Barnes was treating the national championship like the Vegas Intercollegiate, back when people figured the University of Arizona star was capable of this kind of golf.
Meanwhile, the brand names were scuffling early on like Pete from Staten Island and Stevie from Queens, playing the Black with their buddies.
Barnes, though, kept marching with his Forrest Fezler 1970s slacks and his 1980s Greg Norman swagger.
That left fans starved for drama to draw up a perfect storm scenario for a Phil Mickelson or David Duval, or even a miraculous Tiger Woods, comeback.
Because no one except for the good people inside the Barnes camp is convinced hell hold up.
Mind you, no ones wishing ill will on a potentially charismatic new young star.
Its just that the rest of the field was waiting for Barnes to wake up and realize just where he was.
As it turned out, Barnes looked very shaky on that last tee ball Sunday night while Lucas Glover appeared steady. And the massive lead didnt disappear in one fell swoop, it only dripped away.
But it is gone. And now we await a second straight U.S. Open Monday, with the real possibility of a second straight wild and memorable finish.
Barnes and Glover have the chance to remove the word potential from the phrase potential star.
Duval and Woods, and especially Mickelson, have the chance to turn New York upside down.
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