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January 8, 2017

Jordan Spieth

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Q. You birdie four of your last 6-, 8-under, 65. It looked like a fun round of golf to play. How much fun was it out there today?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I think today was the most challenging day for a low score, funny enough. You know, this wind came more out of the east today, which makes the back nine play significantly harder than it did yesterday when we had a downwind holes.

Today they turned right-to-left into. It changes the game coming in, although it makes 17, 18, quite a bit easier. I'm very pleased with the round. Obviously we came out today, and that was our number we wanted to get to.

A little bummed on the front nine, left a couple out there, and Michael said: Try and set a goal to try to grab four birdies before 18 and see what we can do on 18. We just kind of went according to plan. Sometimes it does. A lot of times it doesn't, but it's nice when it does. We'll soak in this round and use it as momentum.

Q. Maybe three holes you'd like to have back that would have made a difference?
JORDAN SPIETH: 2, 8, those par 3s, I just get off in my lines. Those have actually been -- even last year, I didn't play them as well as I played the other holes, even in wind.

And then this year, they kind of -- this year, playing the par 3s significantly over par, and 17 I just had a bad swing. That's going to happen.

It would have been better if it would have happened on a hole where you could miss left but all in all, that one's not in my head as much as those par 3s, just standing on the tee box, picking a more specific line. Par 3s are pretty tricky next week, so it's certainly going to be a focus on ours in our practice.

Q. Confidence level going to Sony?
JORDAN SPIETH: High. Very high. I was just told, I think 26 birdies and an eagle this week, which is, certainly should be good enough on this course to win the tournament but unfortunately had a couple big numbers.

But when those birdies and eagles are there, that's a huge confidence boost. That means I'm able to convert, and the other stuff is actually easier to get rid of. The big numbers are easier to dial back, just be a little bit more consistent, versus if I had made 18 birdies, or what am I at -- 16 birdies, no bogeys. Then I'm trying to figure out how to convert more. So I like it this way a bit better.

Really No. 10 was my biggest par scare. I missed four of my first eight greens, which is not ideal on this course. The greens are massive, and really shouldn't miss four greens in an entire round. I missed them in the first eight, but you know, salvaged par on those holes.

No. 10 was a nice putt to see go in, because I had two 2-putt birdies and one from maybe ten feet on No. 3. But I had not seen any real putts go in, really tricky putts go in since No. 3, so that second putt I hit on 10 was a big confidence booster for me.

Went into 12, put a nice stroke on it, knocked that one in and then kind of off to the races from there. Once they start going in, even when you miss your lines, they still seem to catch the side of the hole, and that's where we were today in that four-birdie stretch.

Had a couple tough numbers on 16 and 17. Should have had better looks there. Kind of took what I think was the wrong club, trying to play a little too safe on those two holes. But that's going to happen. Now I know. And first week, you're trying to gather what's there and what needs to be fine-tuned, and I'm glad that I'm playing next week. It's going to be I think a good week for us.

Q. What is your overall assessment of the week?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean, before today, I would have said a bit disappointed just what could have been after some of those rounds. But after today, what looks like maybe a top five finish, can never be upset with that. It's a world-class field, and I feel like we just made some significant mistakes, double-bogeys, and I really didn't putt well from inside of 12 feet this whole week.

So that's actually a good thing for me. That's very positive going forward. To make that many red numbers and still feel like I didn't have my putter with my on the scorable range -- going to next week with some maybe faster, trickier greens; flatter, tougher-to-read greens.

I'm going to have to try to get out there tomorrow and put as much work as I can in, early. I adapted to these greens but it took me till really Saturday, second half of the round yesterday, to really adapt to the speed. I'd like to adapt by Thursday next week.

Q. Of all the things you've talked about cleaning up this week, what gives you the most encouragement going forward?
JORDAN SPIETH: I really think the play of my scoring clubs. The first day, they were down. I hit the ball with my wedges to about an average of 25 feet, and then I mean, that went in to around ten feet on average with a wedge, minus a tough number. We got the wrong sprinkler head yesterday on the hole and I flew it into a hazard when it would have been tight.

Other than that one, I only hit one wedge that I wasn't happy with the whole rest of the week for three days. It's been a point of emphasis, trying to take some off of wedge play, trying to hit those gap yardages, as well as pitching wedge, 9-iron, 8-iron, distance, distance control and accuracy. That's really been our focus when we look towards this entire season, where do we need to just dial it in a bit more and I felt like we did a great job after round one.

Q. You were asked about Justin's play up there. Wanted to get your thoughts on that again.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I think it's potentially floodgates opening. The guy hits it forever. He's got a really, really nifty short game. He manages the course well. He used to hit more drivers and he's dialing back a bit now and hitting like a trusty 2-iron out there that he can still hit 285 yards, you know, with a little bit of roll.

He's playing the golf course the way it should be played, and honestly, he's taking advantage of the easier holes. I mean, on this course, if you play the par 5s and those short par 4s, you're making birdies on those consistently, no matter what, you're going to be near the top.

He's obviously finding the tougher holes, the par 3s, No. 1, these holes, he's not making many bogeys. So really excited for him. It's awesome. It's awesome to see. He's going to be tough to beat next week, too.

Q. You played well today -- next week --
JORDAN SPIETH: Back-to-back it's easier than anywhere else, especially when you're just island hopping. I think that getting out there tomorrow will be big for me, do some short game work, and not a ton -- I won't spend a lot of time out there tomorrow but just a little bit of maintenance on the swing and some extra short game work.

But I think that it's very real. It's very real in golf. A few years ago, I finished second here and went and missed the cut the next week, but I think that was a fluke. Because I've seen a lot more success coming off of previous week success and just slight improvements on what we've been able to dissect about the last tournament.

So Michael and I will talk tonight and kind of figure out what our game plan is as far as practice next week to be as ready as possible.

Q. What was the thought to next week?
JORDAN SPIETH: Michael has told me for the last couple years, I think, what is it, Waialae? I think he goes, Waialae is one of the best courses on TOUR for you. It's almost like your Hilton Head, your Colonial, you have to kind of strike it around both ways and play in the wind, and we feel like that kind of plays to our strength, kind of trickier reads on the greens. You can make putts from mid-range and off a bunch of ridges.

Last year I didn't play it because I was going overseas, and that was just going to be a really tough four-week stretch to go from there to Abu Dhabi to Singapore. But I think this could be a stop that we'll continue to make as long as we can get into this event.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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