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PGA TOUR MEDIA CONFERENCE


October 2, 2015


Daniel Berger

Tim Finchem

Jordan Spieth


AMANDA HERRINGTON: Good morning, this is Amanda Herrington from the PGA TOUR. I'd like to welcome and thank the media for joining us this morning. We're pleased to have PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem, with us, as well as the soon to be announced PGA Tour Player of the Year, and Rookie of the Year for the 2014, '15 season. Mr. Finchem will announce each award in winner and ask for a few remarks from them. And then we will open up the line for questions for any of the three gentlemen on the phone.
At this time it is my pleasure to introduce Commissioner Finchem to share with us today's exciting news.
COMMISSIONER TIMOTHY W. FINCHEM: Thank you Amanda, and let me start by thanking the media who are with us today for being here and also for your hard work during the course of the year to cover what's been a really solid PGA TOUR season.
We did have a sensational season and from every perspective, largely because of the young stars who shown brighter than ever before, really. But none brighter than our PGA Tour Player of the Year, Jordan Spieth. Jordan captivated our fan base throughout a truly historic season including the FedExCup and five victories, two major championships and near misses at the two others. Thanks to his phenomenal season‑long performance and a victory at the Tour Championship by Coca‑Cola he became the youngest ever FedExCup champion at the age of 22.
With his Masters and U.S. Open victories, he is the youngest player since Gene Sarazen in 1922 to win two career major championships. Some of his other accomplishments this year included that he with a scoring average he won both the Byron Nelson Award, presented every year by the PGA TOUR, and the Vardon Trophy presented by the PGA of America.
He is not only first in the official money list this year on the PGA TOUR he set a record at slightly over $12 million to earn the Arnold Palmer Award. Next week he will play for the second Presidents Cup in Korea.
Jordan, congratulations on your season and being voted PGA TOUR Player of the Year and recipient of the Jack Nicklaus Trophy. You won this on a ballot that included Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy, your peers on the Tour recognized what a phenomenal season you had.
Also, I just want to mention that in our view and I think in the view of all of the fans you've quickly become really a role model for the PGA TOUR and an ambassador for this sport in a very short period of time.
Congratulations again, and I'll ask you to make any comments you might like.
JORDAN SPIETH: Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. It was a season to remember. When you listed the accomplishments for the year I just kind of sat back and was able to kind of soak it in a little bit. You don't recognize it, I guess, as the year goes on, and when you kind of look at it and review you can see exactly what we've done.
It's an honor because‑‑ to win Player of the Year, because it was our MVP of our league. And it's voted on by the players. And for them to recognize the hard work that we've put in and what we've been able to do with it is truly special and I thank all the players I look up to. I've got great role models ahead of me that have helped me kind of settle in and be able to take care of things off the course to be able to just play golf.
We have a great standard set by the Tour that leads into the players and leads down into the younger players and I'm just happy to help carry that torch with this year's Rookie of the Year as well as a lot of other younger guys going forward.
COMMISSIONER TIMOTHY W. FINCHEM: Thank you, Jordan, hang on here for a few minutes, and the media will be asking questions.
Now we'll turn to Rookie of the Year. I'm pleased to announce that the 2015 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year is Daniel Berger, a 2014 Web.com Tour graduate. Daniel caught our attention early on as he charged up the leaderboard at Honda, and earned his spot in the playoff won by Padraig Harrington.
He put an exclamation point on his first season on the PGA TOUR, as the only rookie to make it all the way through the FedExCup playoffs, which is a significant accomplishment. Thanks to a tie for 12th at the Deutsche Bank Championship and runner‑up finish at the BMW Championship coming into Atlanta.
With his strong play in the playoffs Daniel ended his season ranked 11th in the FedExCup. Only Jordan Spieth in 2013 finished a rookie season on Tour higher in the FedExCup rankings.
Off the golf course Daniel showed great character and sportsmanship, as evidenced by this vote of his peers. He earned this honor over Tony Finau, Nick Taylor and Justin Thomas.
Daniel, it's an honor to announce that you are the 2015 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. Congratulations on a great season, and you have the platform to make any comments you'd like.
DANIEL BERGER: Thank you, Commissioner. First off I'd like to congratulate Jordan on what's been an unbelievable season to watch. It's just incredible to see what he's done. He's definitely set the bar very high. I'm just honored to receive such a prestigious award, especially being recognized by the peers on the PGA TOUR that we compete day in and day out with. Obviously congratulations to the other nominees, Justin, Tony and Nick, who I'm great friends with and who have played unbelievable golf this year. I'm just proud of the way this year's rookie class has played and excited to be starting the new season here soon.
AMANDA HERRINGTON: Thank you Daniel, thank you, Commissioner and Jordan.

Q. Jordan, congratulations. Just wondering when you started the season how much did this exceed your expectations, this season you had?
JORDAN SPIETH: Significantly. There wasn't‑‑ we had great years in '13 and '14. But still nothing was necessarily pointing to two majors or some more wins in the year. My goals were to try to win two to three times on the Tour this year, as well as compete and be in contention in at least two majors, make the cut in all four. If I remember‑‑ and make The Presidents Cup. If I remember right that was the goals at the beginning of the year. So obviously if you take care of the first part it will take care of the last part. You win a few times you're going to be on The Presidents Cup team.
But as far as major championships go, it very much exceeded expectations. This was a major season that‑‑ I'm obviously most proud of the two wins, but also extremely proud of taking those two wins into the last two and not giving up, continuing to play our best golf. And really, in my mind, should have won The Open Championship had I played the last two holes like we battled that week, but unfortunately missed a putt on 17 and didn't play 18 the right way. And then ran into a buzz saw in Jason Day at the PGA. Our best stuff was there. It certainly exceeded the expectations in the major championships.

Q. Jordan, congratulations. Jordan, just wondering, is there a single shot that stands out this year as the most critical or your favorite? A lot of us think back to the flop shot at Augusta on 18?
JORDAN SPIETH: That one was certainly pivotal. It's hard to single out one shot. I could probably‑‑ I couldn't do one. But that flop shot, the second shot into 18 at Chambers Bay on the 72nd hole, after making double bogey, which before that I kind of had it locked up, three shots with two to play. That second shot was good and lucky, which is a nice combo. After that, those two shots really stick out for me.
And really the putt on‑‑ the second shot on 13 on Sunday at the Masters, going for the green, hitting it, and the putt on 16. So really kind of four shots in my mind stick out for the year. They all come in the majors.

Q. Jordan, congratulations, great year. Two quick ones. And also Daniel, congratulations, as well, same questions for you. If both of you guys could come up with one word to describe your season, what would it be. And secondly, what was the most memorable moment for each of you, whether it was on the course or off it?
DANIEL BERGER: I would say probably one word to describe this year would just be exciting. With this being my first year out there and having the opportunity to play against the best players in the world each week, getting the opportunity to play in two majors was incredible. I think probably my fondest memory would be the Honda Classic, playing well in the final round and having a chance to win. And just really looking forward to next year and how my growth as a player will be.
JORDAN SPIETH: I'd probably say adventurous. It was incredible there in the spring, but then on and off the course the craziness that comes with what happened after Augusta I think partially given my age for the Masters and U.S. Open and just the craziness. You can't go into a restaurant without taking pictures. Stuff that you didn't have happen necessarily before, just being recognized in the nongolf community, really nongolf crowd, just any sports fan now, is kind of the adjustment. So I'd say it was adventurous on and off the course. It's going to continue to be adventurous, because I know go overseas and see the impact the season has had.
DANIEL BERGER: I have that same problem, too, I go into restaurants and people won't leave me alone. I just want be to eat. I guess it's just part of the job.
JORDAN SPIETH: That's because you drive around in a cooler car than me.
DANIEL BERGER: Yeah, I have that same problem, too.
JORDAN SPIETH: My favorite moment of the year off the course was obviously‑‑ it's clich, but would have been the Sunday nights of Augusta and Chambers Bay. I mean just getting back with family, friends, the team, everybody, being able to celebrate what happened those two days and weeks was pretty cool. I won't go into detail, because I don't think it's appropriate. But they were fun.

Q. Jordan, congratulations. Your performance for the entire year was so superb, that quite frankly you made it difficult in the media to come up with words to describe it. But now it's well documented that if you never hit another golf shot you're eligible for the World Golf Hall of Fame. What comes to mind when you hear something like that at the age of 22?
JORDAN SPIETH: That's obviously a long‑term goal. That means that you're one of the people that have had the biggest impact on and off the course on the game of golf. And I don't feel that way. I don't feel eligible. I don't feel that that's a fair comparison right now, even if on course the accomplishments are close. I think that it's an honor that is given to those who over the course of years, call it a decade or more, have been able to represent themselves the right way on and off the course, accomplish what they need to to be one of the best players ever, but also do it the right way. And I think we did a great job in this year, and really the first few years working towards that, that it's not something that I necessarily would agree with. I believe that we can get there. But we've still got a ways to go.

Q. Jordan on behalf of all your Longhorn fans, congratulations on your incredible year. Your entire career has been impressive, including your time here at the University of Texas. Is there anything you learned from your collegiate years, either from your coaches, teammates, et cetera, that would be able to translate to your professional career?
JORDAN SPIETH: How to beat Florida State was kind of the key. Yeah, it was‑‑ I was there for three semesters, but those three were the bridge that was built between the foundation that we had growing up and then being able to‑‑ again, it goes to on and off the course, again.
In college you just‑‑ you learn you have to live on your own. You learn how to do stuff on your own, you learn work ethic, as far as golf is concerned, not being pushed by anybody necessarily other than your own teammates, coach, and it's really‑‑ you get better based on yourself, going out and doing what you want to do, staying away from too many distractions, while still trying to have an experience you can learn from.
I miss school. Parts of me wish that I was there to experience it in full. I made the right decision at the right time. But we accomplished I think the greatest goal in college golf, which is to win a team national championship. And that year was a special year. I remember a lot of key moments throughout the beginning, middle and end of it with our teammates that truly made it something that was special. And every national championship team in any sport will say that there was just something about that year that clicked within the team. And there was. Even though golf is an individual sport we accomplished the biggest goal. And with that I was then convinced myself, individually, I was able to move on. Because we accomplished what was the highest goal for our team to achieve in school.

Q. Congratulations to both of you. And I'm just so proud to be associated in a way with both of you in that you cherish the fact of growing the game of golf. Junior golf is of utmost importance to you and it's of utmost importance to us. And of course Daniel, you're right down the street from us. Love to have you come over and show the kids how to do it.
DANIEL BERGER: Uh‑huh. Was that a question?

Q. Jordan, speaking of follow ups, how do you plan to follow up this season in terms of what are the goals for next year? You mentioned that just getting in contention at a couple of majors and make the cut in all four. And you obviously well exceeded all of the expectations. I guess what are the expectations for 2015, '16 and then just quick follow‑up on what your schedule is for the rest of the year?
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm not sure yet, Brian. That's something we normally figure out around November, December time frame, when we get to sit down as a team and reassess the year and going forward. It's hard for me to tell. I would imagine it will consist of‑‑ if we don't‑‑ I imagine that the goal will be to win a major, and if not accomplished it will be hopefully a great year away from those, or at least have a lot of close calls.
But that's obviously going to be the primary focus. That's the highest point in golf. That's what we all know is recognized and what creates kind of legacies going forward. So that has the biggest impact on the game. So I think that that's going to be somewhere‑‑ it will obviously be around majors. I don't know exactly what it will consist of yet.

Q. And then just your schedule the rest of the year?
JORDAN SPIETH: I will be going to Korea tomorrow for The Presidents Cup, then HSBC China, the Australian Open and then the Euro World Challenge. And then I will start back up in Maui.
AMANDA HERRINGTON: Thank you again to the Commissioner, Jordan and Daniel for joining us today. And to all members of the media who participated, thank you all.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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