Is Ricky Barnes our generation's Greg Norman?

Is Ricky Barnes our generation's Greg Norman?

Bethpage : NY : USA | Jun 22, 2009 at 8:41 AM PDT
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Greg Norman chokes.

Ricky Barnes has put together a Norman-esque past couple of rounds. After setting a 36-hole U.S. Open record with an 8 under-par performance, and then threatening to run away with the tournament, Barnes bogeyed six out of 13 holes. As I write this, he sits at -2 and two strokes off the lead after a slew of horrendous shots to start Monday's final round.

I mean this as a compliment, I really do. Sure, Greg Norman has been known as one of the greatest choke-artists of all time. In the 1996 Masters, he held a 6-stroke lead going into the final round. He then shot a 78, essentially handing the trophy over to Nick Faldo. In 2008, he gave a two-stroke Sunday lead to eventual champion British Open champion Padraig Harrington. Arguably Jack Nicklaus' greatest major victory -- the 1986 Masters -- came after he chased down Norman from behind. A few years ago, ESPN's Page 2 named Norman the number one greatest choke artist of all time.

BUT - that's not to say Norman isn't talented. He won the PGA Championship twice, he was the first golfer to surpass $10 million in career earnings, and he even has a cool nickname (The White Shark).

Ricky Barnes fits into this mold. He is a former U.S. Amateur Champion, and for gosh sakes, he now holds the 36-hole U.S. Open record.This is no Jean Van de Velde flash-in-the-pan choke (Google his name and you'll know what I mean). I really hope he wins, but let's face it, Barnes has already fashioned himself into the "lovable choker" niche so nicely. No, I suspect we will see Ricky Barnes grimacing and giving up Sunday major leads for years to come.

Now all he needs is a cool nickname.

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Ricky Barnes - our generation's Greg Norman?
Ricky Barnes looks awkward.
ropar is based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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News Stories

  • Ricky Barnes remains upbeat after US Open meltdown

      Seattle Times
    N.Y. — Ricky Barnes took a six-stroke lead to the back nine on Sunday afternoon in the U.S...A winning combination under ordinary circumstances in the testing national championship, but just another weird twist in the rain-delayed event that ended...
  • Barnes leads, Weir in the hunt as U.S. Open resumes

      Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    The final round of the U.S. Open has resumed at Bethpage State Park on Long Island, where a champion is likely to be crowned Monday. Ricky Barnes led at 6-under on the Black Course, with Lucas Glover a shot behind after the final pairing completed...
  • Late early slip costs Barnes outright US Open lead

      New Zealand Infotech Weekly
    Americans Ricky Barnes and Lucas Glover hold a share of the lead after one hole in the US Open final round as the weather-delayed tournament spilled over into a fifth day. PGA Tour rookie Barnes, a surprise pacesetter after the second and third...
  • US Open play suspended due to darkness

      Herald Net
    Open has been suspended, and not a moment too soon for Ricky Barnes. Barnes had a one-shot lead over Lucas Glover after 54 holes in the rain-plagued championship, but it didn't last long. Teeing off in the fourth round Sunday evening, Barnes made...
  • Collapses at golf majors not that uncommon

      The Noblesville Ledger
    You see it all the time," sports psychologist Gio Valiante said. "Kenny Perry did it at the Masters. "That's how Jack Nicklaus won most of his tournaments. He got lost in his process and let everybody beat themselves. Tiger Woods does the same thing.
  • Ex-Cat Barnes chooses to dwell on the positive

      Arizona Daily star
    N.Y. — Ricky Barnes needed only a few words to perfectly summarize his week — make that, week and one day — at the U.S. Barnes, a former UA All-American, shot a 6-over 76 on Monday to finish at 2 under...Amateur champion, tied for second — two...





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