Born in Stockton, California, in 1981, Ricky Barnes starred in golf at the University of Arizona before winning the 102nd U.S. Amateur in 2002. In 2008, he landed at the 25th spot on the Nationwide Tour money list to earn his PGA Tour card. At the 2009 U.S. Open, Barnes set a 36-hole scoring record and reached double digits under par before settling for a second-place finish.
Early Years and Schools
Athlete. Born Richard Kyle Barnes on February 6, 1981, in Stockton, California. His father, Bruce Barnes, was a punter for UCLA and the New England Patriots of the National Football League before becoming a foodbroker. His mother, Cathy, is an educator. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Andy, Barnes took an interest in sports at an early age and displayed a talent for golf.
Named the golf team's most valuable player during all four years at Lincoln High School in Stockton, Barnes played in the state golf championships three times, and also served as team captain for three seasons. In addition, he was named Lincoln High School's Athlete of the Year and All-Area Golfer of the Year. During this time he competed in American Junior Golf Association events, and the United States Junior Amateur for two years.
After graduation in 1999, Barnes followed his brother to the University of Arizona as an undecided major. He entered college ranked No. 17 in the country in golf in his class. During his time at Arizona, he finished runner-up at the Scottsdale Junior Championship, the PING Junior Classic and the Albertson's Junior Championship.
In 2002, Barnes scored his first major victory when he won the 102nd U.S. Amateur. In 2003, he was the low amateur at the Masters, where he finished 21st. Later that year, Barnes turned professional.
Barnes joined the Nationwide Tour in 2004. Playing mainly on the second tier, his best performance on the circuit came when he finished second at the 2006 Oregon Classic. In 2008, he landed at the 25th spot on the Nationwide Tour money list, qualifying him for his PGA Tour card.
Barnes made headlines at the 2009 U.S. Open with his incredible start to the tournament. He set a 36-hole scoring record by shooting an 8-under 132 in the first two days, and the next day he became only the fourth player in the Open's history to reach double digits under par. The PGA rookie was unable to sustain that sizzling pace and faded down the stretch, but he still finished tied for second.
Barnes earned his first professional win at the 2010 CVS Caremark Charity Classic. Other career highlights include a 10th-place finish at the 2009 Masters, and a third-place showing at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Barnes married professional beach volleyball player Suzanne Stonebarger in September 2010. Together they formed the Ricky & Suzanne Barnes Foundation to promote the physical and mental well-being of children.
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