Saturday, June 20, 2009
A Few Things On Ricky Barnes Leading
Through 36 holes at Bethpage Black, Ricky Barnes is leading the U.S. Open. Not only is he leading, but he set the all-time scoring record at the U.S. Open, a tournament that has been around for a couple of years.
A fellow Arizona Wildcat, and a guy I've been in contact with a few times over the years, I have to admit that he's hard not to like. One time back in college, Barnes was leading a tournament in Tucson but decided to tee off early in the final round so he could get to a class and take a test with the rest of his peers. At the U.S. Open in 2006, Barnes shot opening rounds of 71-71 as an amateur before a 79 in the third round took him out of contention. Hell, on the Southwest flight to Las Vegas for the Vegas Bowl, Barnes sat across from me and a buddy, drinking a beer and getting fired up to watch the Wildcats eventually take down BYU.
I'd love to see him win, but that isn't it. This doesn't feel like a U.S. Open. It feels like a Buick Open. Guys are pulling off shots that makes USGA organizers of yore roll in their torturous graves. The weather has basically made this U.S. Open play too easy, and it doesn't seem like there is any way Bethpage can defend itself.
I wish something could be done to give this thing a little bit of toughness. If not, we could see a 12 or 13-under champion, and it might just be Barnes.
UPDATE: I found a story I wrote on Ricky Barnes in college. I thought I'd share. My hair = awesome.
Andrew Redington, Getty Images