A closer look at Ricky Barnes

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Ricky Barnes, the 36-hole U.S. Open leader, is playing his first season as a PGA Tour member after turning pro in ‘03 to much fanfare.

In 12 PGA Tour starts this year, he’s made six cuts, but finished inside the top 50 just once (a T-47 at last week’s St. Jude). Now he holds the U.S. Open record for low 36 holes.

“I don’t think you ever go into it and picture what you’re going to be at for 27 holes,” Barnes said Friday night. “I’ve been playing well. ... I don’t think it’s one of those years where I don’t have my Nationwide or PGA Tour cards. I’m a member of the PGA Tour. I earned it last year.”

Barnes, the ‘02 U.S. Amateur champ, finished 21st at the following year’s Masters, shooting a first-round 69 while paired with Tiger Woods, who shot 76 that day.

He had to sweat out two anxious hours at last year’s Nationwide Tour Championship before finishing 25th on the money list to grab the final spot for the PGA Tour.

Barnes’ father, Bruce, is a former punter for the New England Patriots.

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