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MASTERS TOURNAMENT


April 9, 2015


Jordan Spieth


AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

THE MODERATOR:¬† Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.¬† We are pleased to welcome Jordan Spieth to our interview room this afternoon.¬† Jordan finished the first round with a 64, 8‑under par, including nine birdies during his second Masters appearance.
Last year was his first Masters and his best finish, tied for second.
Before we open it up to questions, would you like to say anything about your round today?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Sure.  I was very pleased.  It's one of the better rounds I've ever played.  Carried a lot of momentum into this week and really I was working hard with Cameron and Michael ahead of time just to find the fine line between resting and solid, good practice.  And I think that was the trickiest thing leading into here to keep the momentum going, not wear myself out.  I played less holes than I did last year prior to the tournament, and spent less time on the driving range and more chipping and putting.
It helped today.  I didn't drive the ball particularly well.  Didn't strike the ball great.  Got some good breaks and capitalized on some really good breaks today.

Q.¬† You had a couple of moments today, on 12 you thought you pushed the club‑‑
JORDAN SPIETH:  So you guys noticed.

Q.  When things like that happen to you, do you feel like there's something special going on in a round like that?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† I'd rather just hit it and know that it's going to be good, the shot and the putt.¬† When that happens, normally it doesn't happen twice in a row like that.¬† I thought I hit the 8‑iron too far.¬† I thought it was landing in the back bunker.¬† I thought it did land in the back bunker when it did came out, because we didn't see in the shadow.¬† The crowd cheered, and I looked back up, all right.
The putt I pushed out there on that left‑to‑righter and it somehow held straight and caught the lip of the hole.¬† I started walking after I hit it just because I was upset, it's kind of the coolest par 3 in golf and I had a chance to make a two and didn't hit a great putt but got away with it.
Yeah, I mean, when you're getting good breaks, just the hardest thing to do is to just be okay with them, kind of laugh them off‑‑ the easiest thing to do is just to be okay and laugh them off.¬† The hardest thing to do is grind and try and take advantage of them and pick that next shot or that next putt that's going to take advantage and turn that into a birdie.¬† That's what we did a really good job of today.

Q.  When you talked about the balance you mentioned a minute ago, and then you consider how you played last year, and how you've played in your last three tournaments, was there any concern about trying to temper your expectations?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I think so.  I think I certainly thought about what I'm expecting coming in.  Obviously everyone wants to win this golf tournament.  It leaves your name in history and a legacy, and the hardest thing to do is to put that behind you when you start on the first hole, I think.
Having only played it once, it's still tough to do.  It's tough to sleep on a lead here and I saw that last year.  But at the same time, I'm a lot more confident in the way that I can handle certain situations, and the patience level I can have, having closed a couple of events out since and seeing some putts go in obviously today.
It is tough to kind of bring expectations down and just kind of have a free flow out there.  But we did a good job of it today.  I was just going to try to take the same mental attitude into the next couple days.

Q.  Speaking of history, were you aware of how close you were to making some?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† I wasn't.¬† I was asked by Tom Rinaldi if I knew that 2‑under on the last four were ‑‑ he asked the same question.¬† I said, are you talking about the course record?¬† I wasn't aware what the course record was here, let alone that it actually would have been the lowest round in major championship history.¬† So that's a little frustrating, because I took a hybrid instead of a 4‑iron out on 15.
But I'm certainly okay with the day (laughter).¬† At that time after 14, I wasn't really sure.¬† It was kind of one of those moments where I wasn't really sure where I was at.¬† I just wanted to play the last four 1‑under, given that 15 was a birdie hole today.¬† Obviously if I had birdied it, then I would have been 10.
After I played 14, I said, let's try and get one here and maybe get to 10.¬† That would be the lowest round that I've ever shot in a tournament round, so that's why I wanted to do that.¬† Just got a little‑‑ just a tough number there on 15, in between and needed to hit a good, flush 4‑iron.¬† But I didn't want to gamble.¬† I wanted to try and hit it just over the green and pitch it back.¬† Just got it too far over.

Q.  Billy Horschel said he was ribbing you a little bit after Amen Corner.  Do you remember what he told you and did it help you get loose?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, he said, to quote him, he said, "I need a tape recorder that just plays, nice hole, Jordan, on each tee box."  (Laughter).
Billy's fun to play with.¬† We mess with each other.¬† We respect each other's games; Henrik, as well.¬† We had a lot of fun out there.¬† I was excited about the pairing this week.¬† Henrik has been under the weather significantly, so he battled it out today.¬† But all in all really happy with the pairing that we got, and the crowds were the way you expect them to be, which is top‑notch.¬† We just had a really good time today.

Q.  You were talking to the ball on 14.  Do you remember what you said?  You were down on one knee and you said something?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I was saying, "Carry the ridge," I think.  I had a good number, good club, but at the same time, the ball was above my feet out of the rough and I had to cut it, and you can't be left.  So it's a hard shot.  But I had a good number to where if I hit it solid, it would get up there behind the hole and I'd have an uphill putt.  I was just trying to make four at that point.

Q.¬† 8‑iron?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† It was a 7‑iron.¬† It was a 7‑iron.¬† I think I was 173 or something to cover the original and 182 or something to the hole, and a little downbreeze right‑to‑left.
When I hit it, I just wanted to carry the ridge and when it did I kind of looked down and just heard the crazy roar and the sigh at the end of the roar.  So I figured it had hit the pin and ended up pretty good.  So that was a nice break.

Q.  You practiced with Ben earlier in the week.  Did that help you quite a bit and what did you talk about?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Sure, yeah. ¬†It was‑‑ honestly, it was just a real cool experience to be part of his last Masters.¬† I enjoyed the nine holes that we played yesterday.¬† I enjoyed talking with him outside of that‑‑ you're talking about Mr.Crenshaw, right?¬† Yeah.
Our focus was just when we were playing, the advice I got from him was just to hit a couple putts here and here, from this spot to this hole, just to get a feel for the speed and the influence of the creek.  It helped me today on a few putts, definitely getting the right speed down, and a couple cases with the line.

Q.  I know there's a lot of golf left and all that, but how cool is it to be leading the Masters?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Really cool.  Yeah, I'd take three more of them (laughter).

Q.  You were pretty animated on 15 after that shot.  Were you animated because you and your caddie, you felt like you ultimately made a mistake?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah.

Q.  And also, that kind of short venting, do you feel like it's still important that you kind of get that out?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Sure, yeah.  Can't have it ever lead into the next shot.
I was frustrated because I felt like we played it too safe.¬† Felt like we were protecting something.¬† Michael thought that with the side wind, that it was a hybrid.¬† We were feeling a little down, a little side.¬† I had adrenaline.¬† He did exactly what I want him to do.¬† It was also my responsibility to then bet on myself to hit a shot solid.¬† If I hit a 4‑iron solid, it's a perfect club.¬† I can hit it in the right bunker and it's an easy up‑and‑down from there.¬† And if it turns over towards the hole, then it's a perfect club.
Michael was protecting the miss and figured that if I miss the 4‑iron, it may not be enough.¬† I think it may still have been.¬† Obviously hindsight thinking is easy there.¬† But the wind was flipping, a little down, a little into, a little down, a little into.¬† I needed to bet on myself to hit a good, solid shot there, and I didn't.¬† A little mud on the right side of the ball kept that hybrid from cutting.
And I would have been fine over the green there.  I would have been just fine.  But that one tree has that one branch that comes down, I couldn't go up in the air.  Had I had room to do that, I could have just lofted it up in the air and just trickled on the green and worst I would have made was par.  But that's what you get.  It wasn't a great shot.

Q.  What were you faced with at 14?  Were you partially blocked?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† I had to start it‑‑ yeah, I had to start it at the left edge of the green.¬† Was partially blocked.¬† I couldn't hit‑‑ if the tree wasn't there, I would have started it significantly right of where I did and tried to play a high draw in there with the wind and just get it behind the hole.
I had to start it a little left of the green and probably have a five‑ to ten‑yard cut on it.¬† The hardest part was getting the cut with the wind going right‑to‑left and the ball above my feet out of the rough.¬† I had to really open the face quite a bit through the ball there to get the ball‑‑ to get it to cut at ten yards.
I was trying to, if anything, over‑cut it and get it just right of the hole down in that little bowl there and just put it up the hill.¬† I saw it coming down on the pin and once it carried the ridge, it was going to be in a good spot.

Q.  Take us through 18, particularly standing over that last putt.  Did it enter into your mind at all how much it would mean getting that extra stroke there and what it would mean for momentum for tomorrow?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It was just another stroke.  It was just another birdie putt that you just try and make just like any other birdie putt.
I hit a good drive.¬† Had an 8‑iron in and just tried to hit a nice, smooth, lofted 8‑iron.¬† I knew that really the only chance of having a good look at it was to be right of the pin there.¬† There's not much room to be left of the pin, without it coming down the slope or going off the left side.
So hit the two shots right where I wanted to hit the two shots, and I saw Billy's putt, so I knew what the putt did.  Just had to hit it with similar pace and a little bit higher line.  When I struck the putt, I thought it might be just a touch short.  With about three feet to go, I knew that it was going to go.
It was cool.¬† It was cool when it went in.¬† I probably gave more reaction over any other putt, other than the one I thought I missed.¬† It was cool to get that extra stroke back.¬† For me, I don't like finishing rounds at a higher score than where I was at some point in the round.¬† So I was 8‑under through 14; I didn't want to finish any worse than 8‑under, so it was cool to get that one back.

Q.¬† When you hit the tree on 13 and then you hit the flagstick on 14, besides being really, really good, do you believe in destiny, too, when you get ‑‑
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† It's round one.¬† It's just a lot of good breaks and good putting and chipping and short game day for me.¬† It was just‑‑ no, I don't think that way right now.¬† There's 54 holes left and anything happens in a major.
I need to play some really, really good golf, and I need to hit my driver and I need to hit my irons better than I did today to have a chance to win this week.
So I'm not planning on looking at scoreboards at this point.  I'm playing just to play these holes as solid as I can, and you know, if I can get the breaks I got today, then great.

Q.¬† You mentioned what a 10‑under round would mean for you in your career and what you had or had not done.¬† How big of a student of Augusta history are you?¬† Is it important to set marks here at this club and at this tournament?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† I don't think so, no.¬† I'm just trying to play the best golf I can play in each round, and obviously I'm trying to compete to win this tournament.¬† I don't care about‑‑ necessarily care about having to do it at a certain time.¬† When I'm given the opportunity, I like to close it out.
But at the same time, a student of the history of Augusta, and this place is the most special place in golf, and it's my favorite place in the world.  So it's cool being here.  It's cool being a part of this tournament.  It's early right now, and try not to think about anything other than getting back on No. 1 tomorrow and trying to shoot a good score.
MODERATOR:  Thank you, Jordan, and good luck the rest of the week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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