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July 10, 2014

Jordan Spieth


Q.  How do you assess the first round?  Maybe not exactly the start you were hoping for?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, it was a struggle, kind of tough.  I practiced pretty hard last week and worked a lot on my driving, and I drove the ball great.  I hit some wedges that are not characteristic of the way I normally hit wedges, but an off day, but we held it together for even, and honestly I think I was down about 8 last year after the first round.  I only shot 1‑under.  So still not out of it.
It's going to take some incredible golf.  I need to go find something on the range because I just wasn't comfortable over the ball today.  But I'm putting well, and so when I find my swing, I can maybe take it deep.

Q.  Some of the guys said the golf course is playing a little different from last year.  The rough's a little deeper and things like that.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it's a little harder, but we had perfect scoring conditions today, so it's no surprise the guys went low.  I just didn't really find myself in the rough too often, to be honest with you.  I was in pretty good position.  I just didn't have any close enough to get anything to go.

Q.  What happened over on 11?  You had that‑‑
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it took a bad hop left of the fairway, and the second hop hit the cart path and shot straight into the hazard, so it was kind of a tough break.  I took a drop on the cart path and another drop from the cart path and weaseled a bogey out of that which was pretty good.  I had three bogeys today, and it looked a lot worse than that.  I just didn't have the opportunities to make 6 or 7 birdies like a lot of guys did.

Q.  How important was it to make a couple of early birdies to get back to even par?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It was very important.  Good putt on 16, pretty good break on 17, holding up just behind the green, pretty easy pitch up‑and‑down, and then par on 18.  So to play the last three 2‑under is about par with the way I've been playing the last three holes over the past couple of years.  If I could get it to a few under prior to those holes, then I would have shot a lower score.

Q.  First round in a title defense, did it feel any different out there today?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I had some adrenaline starting just from the announcement on the first tee, and it was pretty cool.  It's the first time I've had it.  It's the only one I've had right now.  So, yeah, definitely some added adrenaline to start.  It didn't affect me at all.  Again, I hit two good shots in the first hole.  I just missed the drive on the second, and it started out all right until we got to‑‑ I just had some in‑between numbers to start, and I didn't play the smart shots, so I didn't have my swing.  But when you don't have your swing, and you get numbers between the clubs and I start trying to force shots and work the ball 20 yards with the draw, it just adds to it.
So tomorrow I learn from that.  Even when I had in‑between numbers the rest of the round I was able to play straighter shots to where I could two‑putt from 20 feet and get out of there.  I mean, to be honest, on the back nine we were trying to fight back to even, and we did.  So I'll take whatever momentum that was into tomorrow.

Q.  As you said, you were about this place last year at 77, being 8‑shots back where you were last year, can you capture what you did last year?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I shot three 6‑under rounds in a row, so I guess that's the game plan now.

Q.  Does that add any pressure to the weekend now knowing that you kind of have to play well?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I don't feel like I have to win this golf tournament.  Yeah, I'm trying to win every tournament I play in, but there is no need for me to win this.  If somebody had, for instance, if I had to win the Wyndham last week to make the playoffs, then I would feel more pressure.  No, it's another tournament.  It's another round on the course where I know I'm going to have wedges and I need to hit them at least on the green before I even try to work them next to the hole.
So, no, I don't feel added pressure at all.  The Open Championship is next week.  That is the week where I'll feel the majority of the pressure.  That is a major.  That's one of four or five events on the year.  This feels close to a major with all the stuff leading in and kind of the adrenaline to start.  But, yeah, I'm going to just go out there tomorrow and try to play bogey free golf, and that's my goal.

Q.  It's been a busy week.  Does that make you feel any different and take a toll on you physically?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it's been definitely tiring the last few days.  I'd be lying if I said‑‑ I mean, I've been pooped at night.  They've been really full days, abnormal for a week of playing.  I don't think it affected me at all.  I think I was able to sleep in until 9:00 today.  I caught up and was ready to go.
But it has been wearing down at night.  But now, it's over, and I think today was nice to get out there and nice to see a couple putts drop late so that tomorrow we can go out there and post a low one.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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