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August 29, 2014

Jordan Spieth


Q. The double bogey, but from that point on, really clean?
JORDAN SPIETH: After I made the double, I calmed myself down. I made a really nice par save on 11 to keep it together at the beginning of the round, at least see a putt go in. Big birdie on 12. 12 is a really difficult hole. I made two really good shots in there to about 10 feet and made the putt. From there I was awake and ready to go. Then I played the smart shots today. There was a hole or two where maybe I chose the wrong club off the tee or something. But to go bogey-free and to get some birdies from there on in, I would have taken anything under par after the first hole today. So I'm very pleased to be in contention.

Q. Talk about this golf course. When you have to play early morning off the back nine, if you don't get off to a good start, I mean 10 is not that hard a hole. But 11, 12, 13 and 14, you could ruin your whole week right off the bat?
JORDAN SPIETH: There's no doubt. To go through those holes at 2-under par after the double on 10, you know, I made it a goal of mine not to -- if we can get back to 1-over before No. 18, hit two good shots there, and we're starting back over on the front nine. And ended up 3-under after the turn somehow. And kind of grinded a little on the back, but fortunately to get one to go on 7 and got to 4-under.

Q. You double bogeyed your first hole. But then you recover. You're 5-under through the next eight holes. How were you able to turn things around?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think I was asleep to start this morning, I don't know. The back nine is very difficult to start on in the morning. It's a little cooler, you have some really difficult holes. 10 isn't one of them, so I made a double on 10. By the time I got to 16, 15, I was back to even par, which was huge. I got a couple of good breaks in there. To really grind out off of 10 green and just tell myself, okay, you're going to go 2-over par throughout four rounds, so to make it bogey-free from here on in and not make anymore mistakes. You've got a couple of putts to go that wouldn't normally go. To post 4-under and be in contention is great.

Q. To say that you've been playing poorly as of late, but maybe not the caliber you're used to through the year, but to get a good number like this, what does it do for your confidence?
JORDAN SPIETH: It was Sunday of last week, I got some momentum coming off the Barclays, on a difficult course, shot 4-under out there the last round, so I started to have things come together. I saw a couple of putts go in. The hole looked a little bigger today than it has the last month or so. I keep on grinding away and working hard, and it just gets bigger and bigger. Hopefully this is a good start to some momentum, because I could sure use it the next couple of weeks.

Q. Three of you started outside the top five today. You learned from last year being in the top five is a great place to be once you get to Atlanta. Talk to me a little bit about the fight to get up there?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, that's certainly the ultimate goal is to be in the top-5 once you tee off in The TOUR Championship. 29 to 30 guys this year, chances are better than any other PGA Tour event for the year. You're able to control your own destiny. If you're in the top-5, that means that you played the first three playoff events as either one or you finished high up there, second or third a couple of times, so you're running on some good momentum. The easiest way to play the playoffs it to take it round by round and just get momentum each day, not have too many highs and lows going into The TOUR Championship.

Q. Early rounds, not too high, not too low. This felt more like the third and fourth round out here today, didn't it? You can feel the electricity and the elevation of the stakes, can't you?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, sure. The crowds are phenomenal out here. This is a good golf course. It's a golf course that last year took 22-, 23-under to win. This year it looks like it's going to play a little more difficult. So, you know, you've got to get out there and play really solid. It's all about finding nice, smooth momentum, hitting some greens, having enough birdie looks to just start to get your rhythm with the putter. The hole looks bigger and bigger week to week.

Q. Asking all three of you guys, what's it like, you said the importance of the top-5, what's it like having your direct competition sitting right next to you?
JORDAN SPIETH: When we're paired the first couple of rounds, it's definitely nice. Right behind us is 1, 2 and 3, so we know what we're chasing. Last week I was in the same tee time position as this week. So knowing what those guys are doing, we don't focus on that, again. It's round by round and focus on ourselves. But it is nice to play with the guys who have played the same kind of golf throughout the year, guys that we probably played with multiple times through the year. I played with Patrick last week. Jason, I always love playing with him. He's a very positive guy. I enjoy it and hopefully we keep feeding off of each other tomorrow. I felt great. I double bogeyed the first hole. I drove one right into the hazard. Hit a really good shot on to the green. Kind of a killer, that three-putt. Kind of woke me up. Typically I'd be really upset at that. I told myself I've got to have a different attitude to keep everything really neutral through the playoffs here. I feel like that's the easiest way to gain momentum week to week. And each week is more important to me than the last. Ultimately with the Ryder Cup being at the end of the stretch. So I think Michael and I did a great job on 10 and 11 of really settling down, understanding there's 72 holes. And you're going to make mistakes here and there on 72 holes. To go bogey-free from there on in, I'm extremely pleased. I wanted to work back under par. After No. 11 my goal was to shoot under par for the day. To get it in at 4-under and be two back at this point, I know that now I've got a good shot at winning this golf tournament.

Q. (Inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH: 11 was about a 10-footer. And it was just up and broke a little right-to-left. It was extremely important. I didn't hit a great chip shot after a hybrid that flared out. It was a putt where I knew the read, which was nice. It wasn't too difficult of a putt. But it was one that you had to put a good stroke on. I saw from about three feet out, knew that it was going to go in. Once you see that happen and you get a stroke from about that length that goes in, you know what kind of stroke to put on it the rest of the day. Ultimately you like to figure that out on the practice green, but it took me a hole to figure it out.

Q. You talk about frustration. Before this week in the second half of the summer, did you feel that now, or have you given into it or felt that mounting or given into it or felt it get bigger?
JORDAN SPIETH: The holes look smaller. I haven't been making as many putts or hitting as many fairways. Those are the two things, my driver and putter, which I normally consider a strength of mine. My ball-striking has stayed about the same. I've been confident enough. When I put myself in the right positions I'm hitting it close enough, I just -- either I'm not capitalizing on those shorter birdie putts or was just missing some fairways. But it was getting to me a little bit. And I kind of had a talk with Michael and we sat back and looked at it and said, hey, I missed the cut at the PGA. Other than that I've played some pretty good rounds. The John Deere is a top-10. The British wasn't my best, but I still had some really solid rounds in there. I was just trying to draw back on those under par rounds in the stretch. So last week, a lot of momentum on Sunday heading into here and I was able to keep it under today.

Q. You shot 62 last year on one day, does that carry over at all?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, definitely. I had the pin positions ahead of time, which is rare. Seeing a course for the second time is still rare for me. So I feel like it's an advantage. I feel comfortable off the tees with the lines. And then, yeah, I like the layout a lot. So last year it played a little different. Took 22-, 23-under to win. This year it doesn't look like it's going to take quite that much. It's a little firmer. But still the same course. Still going to be very challenging.
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