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April 15, 2015

Jordan Spieth


JOHN BUSH:  We'd like to welcome Jordan Spieth into the interview room.  He's making his third start at the RBC Heritage.  He's finished top 12 here the last two years.
Jordan, what a dominating performance Sunday at the Masters, followed by a whirlwind two days in New York City.  Talk a little bit about that course and then also keeping your commitment to play here at the Heritage.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, obviously the Masters, winning the Masters was a dream come true and something I'll never forget.  I'll never forget the first one.  Hopefully there's more.
It was such an incredible week, such a great team effort.  Everybody was the best in the world and they freed me and Michael up to just go do our job on the course.  And we did our best work.
So after that came the media in New York.  We had I think it was like 25 or 26 different stops in 25 hours, which was a little crazy, especially after the three weeks in a row of kind of being draining already.
But we had a great time with it.  It was really cool.  It was cool to experience that different side and to see the impact that the Masters has internationally, and not only in the golf community.  And just shows the interest in the golf and how it's growing.  I got to experience that firsthand and it was awesome, as well as sharing my own story.
So all in all it's awesome.  I was very much looking forward to getting back here, getting on solid ground and taking a deep breath and it's been nice.  I'm really looking forward to this week.  This is a tournament that I love; a course that I think suits my game.  And I've had just a great experience at the Heritage in the two years I've played.
JOHN BUSH:¬† Your last four starts, you have two wins, two runner‑up finishes, won the Green Jacket.¬† You're also the youngest player ever to lead the FedExCup.¬† Have you had a chance to reevaluate your goals the rest of the year?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Not necessarily yet, no, I really haven't.  That was kind of the highest goal was to try and win the Masters.  At this point to lead the FedExCup is an incredible honor, it's something in order to stay in that position like Jimmy has for the majority of the last two years, you have to play tremendous golf, win tournaments, certainly be in contention a lot.  Winning the FedExCup would be an incredible feat this year, as well as having a significant focus on the majors and World Golf Championships.
So it's going to be cool seeing Michael have that bib that's different than the rest.  And with that there comes, you know, added expectations that we put on ourselves.  So wouldn't rather be in any other position right now, though.

Q.  We've seen the video of you as a kid talking about winning the Masters and the letters you've written.  Have you had time to figure out if the reality exceeds what your dreams were?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, it definitely does.¬† And that started just walking up 18 on Sunday.¬† And I realized that this is actually going to be cooler than I ever could have dreamt it being, just the feeling that I had then.¬† And since then, yeah‑‑ I mean, it's amazing that you can pull these videos and letters from who knows where.¬† But it's obviously something‑‑ I wasn't lying to you when I said that was my dream to win the Masters.¬† It's obviously proof because you see it when I was 14, you see it in letters from when I was 16 and I've said it since then, as well.
So just proves kind of how badly we wanted this tournament.  Almost wanted it too bad last year.  And I didn't just let things fall into place.  And this year we just, for whatever reason, were more mentally strong than I've ever been.  And that's what allowed us to accomplish this dream.

Q.  Saw you last night tweeting to Durant, all those guys.  How many tweets did you kind of go through last night and texts and all that?  How cool was it to respond to those guys?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† It was tough to single out and certainly I definitely missed responding to a lot of very special people, supportive people, and really everybody‑‑ it's tough, because you want to respond to everyone but you can't respond to everybody.¬† It was hard to single it out.¬† Luckily my dad's company, MVPindex, were able to single out some of my favorite athletes and celebrities to get back to and make a little list to do so.¬† But at the same time, I mean, the wishes that we got from just regular followers and in general golf fans I'd like to respond to, as well.¬† It's just you can't really exactly single everybody out.
I spent a lot of time the last couple of days trying to respond to all my text messages and emails, which is tough because I send about two emails a year.  And trying to get back to everybody because, you know, without an incredible support, it wouldn't feel as special.
So it's something that we've certainly tried to make right.

Q.  Two questions, what is your energy level right now after the last couple of days going into this event?  Secondly, how does it feel to be doing an interview without the Green Jacket on?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yesterday my energy level was maybe at a two.  Today I'm back up to about a six.  I should be at a nine tomorrow.
Yeah, fortunately I'm in the afternoon the first round, otherwise that might have been tough.  Yeah, I feel good.  I feel good today.
As far as doing an interview without the jacket on, I kind of like wearing it.  It wasn't going to be the right move to come here and wear it.  But it's tucked away safely.  Certainly will be wearing it in the future.

Q.  On Sunday you said, you were asked to put it in perspective what did it all mean, and you said to ask in a few days.  I'm asking you in a few days.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Ask in a few days later (laughter).
I don't know, people are talking about record breaking and this and that and my age and stuff, to me all that matters is that we had a goal at the beginning of the year, which as a team was to prepare every part, my body, my mechanics, my mental side and our on‑course efforts to peak at Augusta National.¬† And for that to‑‑ what really matters to me is that our plan that we put it place was able to tie the record and set other records.¬† And that means that the team that we have, even though some with little experience, including myself and some with a lot of experience, the combination was the correct combination, and I know that we can do it going forward and that's what gives me a lot of confidence.
To put it in perspective we can win more because it didn't take as long to put the right formula together to win one.  So that's what's really, really cool.

Q.  You're on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  You're all over media and now you're one of the faces of golf worldwide.  Moving forward, do you feel that that comes now with a responsibility for you?  And secondly, with that responsibility, if you would have that, is that associated with pressure, as well?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† I think it gives me more of a responsibility off course than on course.¬† On course we're not going to change anything that we're doing, we're just going to keep‑‑ and off course I don't want to change anything that I'm doing.¬† But at the same time there's obviously more of a spotlight now, and there's just going to be things said with no real background or reason to say stuff.¬† It's just I understand that there are positives and negatives to a spotlight.¬† And we're going to try to take advantage of the positives and just push aside the negatives or those that are just looking for something to say.
I don't want to change anything that I'm doing on or off course, but I think the only added pressure is going to be staying focused off course on how we want our brand to move forward.

Q.  You talked a few minutes ago about how you peaked or planned to peak at Augusta and you did.  Is there kind of a realism this week that, hey, last week was really difficult and what we planned for?  Maybe this week won't be as strong as last?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I mean no offense to this week, but I will be more comfortable on the first tee than I was last week, especially after everything that just happened.
I'd like to get myself into contention.  We've had success being in contention the last four tournaments.  I don't plan on having a hangover tournament, by any means.  I feel like this course is a good course for me.  I wouldn't have come here if I didn't feel like I could win this week.  And again, there's still the goal ofthere's still a guy to chase.  Rory is No.1 in the world.  I wouldn't come to a tournament just to come to a tournament, especially with that goal still in mind.
So that's on my mind.  I'm obviously not as prepared, maybe, as I'd like to be, as far as getting on the golf course.  I won't have played one hole before Thursday.  But I am going to practice some today and try and get myself back to the shape we were just a few days ago.

Q.  Which hole was it?
JORDAN SPIETH:  What's that?

Q.  You said you played one hole.
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I won't have played a hole.

Q.  You finished with a 67 on Sunday here last year, so you left with a solid round of golf.  What is it coming from the Masters to a totally different course like this, not just the course but the atmosphere?  What do you like so much about it?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† I like how laid‑back it is.¬† Great crowds, good fans.¬† But it's the craziness has subsided and the tournament is run extremely well.¬† We're treated as well as anywhere on Tour, good food, good facilities.¬† And I really, really love this golf course.¬† That's No.1.¬† I like coming to Hilton Head, but I really love playing this course.¬† The greens are phenomenal; it requires all types of shots.¬† You've got to be smart.
It's going to be hard for me to settle in and do a lot of thinking, which is what you have to do here.  I'm going to want to start hitting drivers around this place tomorrow.  So I'm going to have to sit back and try to pick a plan for the course without knowing exactly how it's playing, which will be a new experience for me.  I'm excited to get out there and should have a good idea how it's playing after the first four or five holes.

Q.  First question, when did you get here last night?  What time did you wake up?  And you're staying with Justin, have you had any chance to catch up with him?  Has he played any pranks on you yet?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I reminded Justin of what I'm capable of doing now, to where he shouldn't try any pranks, and he agrees.
I got into the house at around 10 p.m. last night from New York.  And I'm staying with Justin, Shorty, his caddie.  Jason is his name, probably doesn't like me saying "Shorty", and Michael and Ellie, my caddie and his wife.  Yeah, we were all sitting around watching in basketball last night.  I had a chance to catch up on some things and just kind of talk.  It was nothing out of the ordinary.  It was mostly just kind of shooting the barrel, just, whatever.  It was fun.

Q.  How has it been in the locker room with other players?  How happy is Under Armour?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† It's been great.¬† Since I've been here each player, as expected, because these are great guys, guys that I try and learn from on Tour.¬† We just have‑‑ it's a great respect that everybody shows each other.¬† Everyone has come up and said, "Congrats, man, it was fun to watch."¬† Someone said, "I wasn't planning on watching because I wasn't there, but I really wanted to watch that.¬† It was awesome."¬† It's really, really cool to have guys come up and say that, guys I look up to.
Under Armour is very pleased.¬† When I mentioned it's a team win, that's not just specifically our team as far as instructor, chiro, manager, trainer, it's all those that take part, all sponsors, guys that‑‑ people that allow what Under Armour and AT&T, so forth, Titleist, what they allow us to do is to be completely worry‑free on the golf course.¬† We don't have to think about anything we're doing, other than picking that next shot.¬† I don't have to worry if something is tugging on me.¬† I don't have to worry about if this new driver, new ball is going to go somewhere else.¬† I mean, I'm very comfortable in what we have.
And so it's a team win and that makes us both very happy.

Q.¬† You seemed pretty dead‑set on playing here right from the outset on Sunday.¬† Did it cross your mind that you needed a week off?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† It didn't, no.¬† I was asked Friday or Saturday when I was in the lead, "Hey, if you were to win Sunday are you thinking about maybe not going?"¬† From the get‑go I was always planning on coming here.¬† The question was then asked right after the round, "If we go to New York, are you going to go back to play Hilton Head?"¬† And I said, "Yeah, I'm still committed."
This tournament has been very good to me.¬† I had a start here in 2013 when I didn't have full PGA Tour status, top‑10, and it helped with job security.¬† And so it's a tournament that's close to me and I love it here.

Q.¬† Quick follow‑up, how many texts and voicemails do you think you got?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I got a little under two hundred.  I think my mom might have gotten more.  But I changed my number not too long ago, so that's why.

Q.  People seem to be very struck with how graciously you handled the last couple of days.  You referenced your upbringing.  You mentioned not changing anything off the golf course, how is that possible with all the attention on you?  And how do you bring it back to the way you were brought up?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I don't see how it should.  I don't see why it would.  I imagine there will be more of a spotlight.  It was a little crazy in New York having paparazzi know where we were going to eat dinner, even though we never told anybody.  So that part kind of was different and gave me a little insight into what it could be like here and there.  But also it was the first few days right after the tournament.  But given some time that will subside a little bit, but probably not around Dallas and home.
But I don't see why or how or a reason that it should change me.¬† So I don't know necessarily how to answer that.¬† I'm me, and if anything were to change it's going to be negative on me for changing because of‑‑ I don't even know how it would change.¬† I'm just going to continue to play this season, try and set new goals for the year, and accomplish them, just like we have already.
JOHN BUSH:  Jordan Spieth, thank you, sir.

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