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Golf Australia Express : Issue 10
AMERICANS TOUTED Ricky Barnes the Next Big Thing in golf. That was back in the early 2000s— since then the tight-shirt wearing Californian has not quite lived up to all the hype. But in college, Barnes was a gun. In 2002 he knocked off Hunter Mahan 2&1 to win the US Amateur Championship— one of the biggest prizes in amateur golf. The following year in a Barnes-storming display, he outscored Tiger Woods by seven shots in the opening round at Augusta, where he eventually won the low amateur. With a wide, toothy grin and ripped physique, it seemed Barnes had both the look and game for golf’s biggest show. But his days after turning pro in 2003 were marred by inconsistent form and a bad temper. Barnes was televised attacking a tree at the 2004 Australian Masters, where he was fined for unprofessional conduct. The petulant display showed the pressure that came with high expectations. Now older and wiser at 30, Barnes is still searching for that elusive maiden win. At least now the 2009 US Open runner-up is again flashing his pearly whites and his swashbuckling style. Go Ricky. LIST THE RICKY BARNES Born 6 February, 1981