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June 9, 2010

Jordan Spieth


COLIN MURRAY: We'll go ahead and get started. Jordan Spieth, thanks for joining us here in the interview room at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew. Playing this week on a sponsor's exemption. Second PGA TOUR start. If you could just give us, looking back, you were tied for 16th, must've been fun at the HP Byron Nelson Classic and looking forward to this week, your expectations.
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, you know, I'm just going to do the same thing that I said for the Byron, that you don't enter a tournament unless you think you can win. And I guess looking back on the Byron, I kind of -- you know, interrupted (dropped call) like it always comes down to the guys putting the best in the end.
COLIN MURRAY: Go ahead and open it up to questions.

Q. Jordan, as I understand it, this was the event that gave you your first sponsor's exemption. Being here now with the experience at Byron Nelson, how much more comfortable maybe do you feel being in this kind of situation and just being prepared to go start tomorrow having kind of this not being your first now PGA tournament.
JORDAN SPIETH: I think it'll have a major effect on my first tee shot of each round. It was definitely quite a bit different than anything I've experienced before.
I think I'll be able to get settled down and get into the zone, get into my game earlier than I was at the Byron just because of the experience. I think that's important that I'm not running on -- I need to get settled down as quickly as I can because I felt like I was running on adrenaline for almost half of the round sometimes at the Byron Nelson. I'd like to get in there and just start going and just start playing my game.

Q. I gather your return to school was triumphant the next morning. Can you describe that a little bit? And I take it you're done now for the summer and what your summer plans are?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yes. I'm finished with school now. The first day back was really interesting mainly just because my friends were trying to give me a hard time about it. They knew it was going to be quite hectic. So they just tried to mess with me and make it worse. But you know, everything settled down to the way it was, and I like that.
For the rest of the summer, you know, I'm not playing too much. I have the U.S. Amateur, the State Amateur and the Western Amateur as far as amateur events are concerned, and a few junior tournaments in there. And I like to spend a lot of the summer at home with my friends and make it all well-rounded and have some fun.

Q. Jordan, what was your favorite memory from the Nelson? Was it a shot, something you saw, just the experience of being there? What's your key moment? What are you going to say 30 years from now when you're talking to your kids about the first PGA TOUR event you ever played in?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, I would have to say there's probably two of them that really stuck out, one being Saturday, my first hole after I made the cut and everyone was like, well, this kid made the cut, he's at 3-under, and I didn't know what was going to happen that round on Saturday, playing on the weekend in my first PGA event.
My first hole I short-sided myself in the bunker, and I plopped it out and it just trickled down and it looked like it was on a good lie so I put my club up, and it went in. It was kind of in the afternoon, and everyone was there. And the roar was just unbelievable, and they said they could hear it on like 5 when we were on 1. And at that moment, just to get started in that round was different than what I expected.
And then 17 in the final round where 17 is signature hole, and just thousands -- I mean there was something like 30,000, 40,000 people on 17, and you get in there and it was like you're walking into a dome and everyone is cheering for you, and even before I hit my shot it was really special and walking down to the green after I hit going aggressive, and hit it right at the hole, that feeling was just -- I just can't describe that feeling. But looking back I'll be able to look at not just those two, but a lot of other moments, but those are the two that really stick out.

Q. (Question about meeting players on the PGA TOUR).
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, I haven't really gotten to speak with a lot of them, but I played with quite a few yesterday and they're excited. You know, they're all just messing with me because I'm just the young 16-year-old, you know. So they're all telling me that I'm making them feel really old, I guess is what they say, but they're great. Everyone that I've met has been great, and hopefully I'll get to meet a few more guys out here.

Q. Have you figured out how to address Tom Pernice yet?
JORDAN SPIETH: I have. Tom. He wants Tom. I was hitting balls with him on the range yesterday. He gave me a few pointers for the week.

Q. Who's with you here this week?
JORDAN SPIETH: My dad and my caddie behind you over there.

Q. Jordan, after that first day back at school, how was the time between the Byron and this? How busy have you been? How much attention maybe have you gotten and requests for emails, et cetera, from what you did at Byron?
JORDAN SPIETH: Quite a bit. It's -- like I said, it's just been new. You know, it's taken some getting used to, but by now, you know, it's settled down, like I said. All the hype's kind of gone down a little bit.
You know, at home, here, obviously leading up to this, the Byron helps create a little hype for this event. So you know, I don't see that as added pressure at all. I'd just as soon get out there, get off the first tee and get going, but you know, the interviews and photo shoots and whatnot, it all comes with it. It's all part of the experience, so I try to enjoy it as much as I can.

Q. So what have you -- between then and now, what have you done in terms of, do you take exams between now and then and also, then, the golf stuff? Who have you done photo shoots for since we last saw you?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, the week after the Byron Nelson, I had four days of normal school to make up, the eight straight days that I missed before that, which was not fun. And then I left to go to a junior tournament in Arizona. And then I came back and had exams.
So I just got off of exams this past week. And you know, I couldn't even tell you exactly who -- what kind of interviews or photo shoots or whatever. I did one for Golf Magazine or Golf Digest. I think it was Golf Magazine in Arizona, about like swing sequences, swing sequences.
Other than that. That one was interesting. That's why I remember that. But other than that, I couldn't really tell you exactly who it was.

Q. (Question about grades).
JORDAN SPIETH: I have no idea. I haven't gotten the scores back. I did as well as I could given that I missed the last two weeks of information. So they're not going to be as pretty as they would have been.

Q. What was the reception like at the Thunderbird?
JORDAN SPIETH: You know, all the guys were loving it. You know, because it proved to them that they can compete with the pros, because we all compete out there. I didn't play well. I got eighth in the junior tournament there.
I just wasn't ready. I was rusty. I had practiced for one hour in the four days leading up to it. So I mean I don't want to make excuses for myself, but you know, being there and having those juniors right when I get there, everyone watched it, and they all loved it because it proved to them that they can compete, you know.
And I think you know, after the week was over, too, especially the guys that finished ahead of me realized that they could get out there and give it a run if they get the opportunity. I just hope that a lot more juniors get -- because of that I hope a lot more juniors get sponsors' exemptions.

Q. This tournament has started a bit of a tradition of inviting the U. S. Junior Am. Champ. When did you realize this was coming your way?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think it was because of the AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year. And I think it just happened to be that the last two years it was the U. S. Junior Champion, too. I don't think it was because of the U. S. Junior. I think it was definitely the exemption given because of the Player of the Year. So I realized that back in November, Thanksgiving.
COLIN MURRAY: Okay. Anything else? All right, Jordan. Thanks for your time. Play well this week.

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