What would you do if you had the Augusta National clubhouse to yourself for a night?
Would you walk the course in twilight? Poke your head through the dining room? Size yourself in a green jacket?
If you’re Ricky Barnes, the answer sounds a bit different. As the former U.S. Amateur champ explained to hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz on this week’s episode of Subpar, his experience in golf’s ultimate play on “Night at the Museum” looked anything like how you’d expect it.
As he remembers, it all started on Sunday evening following the 2003 Masters, just a few hours after Barnes had earned low amateur honors.
“Sunday night, I end up getting low amateur, I’m eating with [Masters champion] Mike Weir, his family, my parents at the champion’s dinner, because the low amateur gets to eat with them that night,” he said. “There’s a bar just down the road, so we get out. We look down and it’s 1:30 a.m., so I’m like ‘okay I’ve got to go home.’
Barnes, fresh off the professional accomplishment of his life, hopped in a cab back to Augusta National, where he and the other amateur champions were staying.
But there’s something Augusta evidently doesn’t tell you about staying as a house guest: they keep a strict curfew.
“I get back to the front gate to get dropped off and the gate’s closed,” he said. “I’ll never forget it. I hop the brick stone wall, get over, and I’m jogging down Magnolia Lane thinking someone’s going to shoot me.”
But Barnes’ night wasn’t done there. Once he’d had gotten back to his suite in the Augusta clubhouse, he’d found an equally raucous friend waiting for him.
“I go upstairs, and they’ll kill me for saying this,” Barnes said. “[British Amateur champion Alejandro Larrazábal] is the only one still there. And it’s only us two. So we walk down the crow’s nest, and there’s a telephone booth and we walk left and we keep going around and there’s the champion’s locker room.”
Then, Larrazábal slipped on a green jacket in a nod to fellow countryman Seve Ballesteros.
“Alex goes right into Seve’s locker, and he’s got Seve’s green jacket on,” Barnes said. “He’s pouring drinks with Seve’s jacket on.”
You can hear the rest of Barnes’ story about his wild night in the Augusta National clubhouse, in addition to his heart-pounding Masters memory with Tiger Woods, in the video below.