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April 29, 2015

Jordan Spieth


Q.  4 & 2 victory over Mikko Ilonen.  How well did you play today?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Very well.  It was a course that nobody is very familiar with.  It's an adjustment on the greens, they're rolling a little slower and they are firm.
All in all, came in just trying to get to know the place.  Put some good preparation work in and played a solid round of golf today.
Mikko, what an incredible guy, super nice guy.  Wish him the best.  He had a solid round himself.  I was on my game today.

Q.  How do you approach match play tactically?  What is your philosophy out there playing head to head?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I like to start out being 2‑down.  Like to play my back to even, and when I get back to even or 2‑up then I'm back to 2‑down.  I kind of restart at each 2.
Then we've discussed when I get to 4‑up in the match is when we can start looking at ceratin decisions and what we change.  But until then play aggressive to try and win as if you are down.

Q.  Last week was the first time you have had any time off since the Masters, chance to reflect.  What is the best thing about being Masters champion?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Just sharing it with the whole team.  I mean, it's hard to narrow it down to one thing.  Everything is perfect about it.  It's a dream come true.  Each day it sinks in a little bit more and it gets a little sweeter.

Q.  Matt Every tomorrow.  You're thoughts on him?
JORDAN SPIETH:  He's won this year.  Good young player.  I've known Matt for a while.  I'm not sure how their match is going to finish up with Lee, but either way it's still going to be a tough match.  I'm going to have to play a round like today.

Q.  Talk about the match a little bit with Mikko.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Didn't take it for granted.  Mikko is a very solid player.  He's not well‑known over here, but I've certain watched enough European Tour golf and I'm aware he's a match play champion as well.  I knew he had a nice smooth swing.  He wasn't driving the ball well today.  I was able to put it in good positions off the tee and that was really the difference.  Some of the easier holes I made birdie on and some of the harder holes, I was able to coast it up there for a two‑putt.  I think I had one bogey and five or six birdies.  And then that was good enough.  Perfectly happy with that round any day.

Q.  Do you feel like you dodged a couple early like, when you were outside of him and you win?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I certainly dodged a couple.  He was sliding putts just past the hole.  He had chances to keep it close.  I went to 2 or 3 up early, which is tough to come down from at any point in the round.  It very well could have been even.
Then he gets back to one down there with a made bunker shot and then a longer putt.  The momentum changes.
12 is certainly the biggest hole of our match.  We both had 75, 80 yards into 12.  To snag a birdie there and still a stroke and go back to 2‑up instead of possibly even was really nice.  That's big there when you only have ‑‑ when you're running out of room.

Q.  How long was the putt there at 12?
JORDAN SPIETH:  12 was probably five feet, and then I hit it to about five with a 7‑iron on 13.

Q.  What kind of urgency was there today?
JORDAN SPIETH:   Yeah, I mean that's the way it's approached.  The approach is win or go home.  I told Michael today, don't go looking at where the dots are for tomorrow's pin.  A lot of times caddies walk to where tomorrow's pins are going to be.  I said don't do that.  We need to approach this as win or go home.  That's what we think about it.
I moved on from the round of 128 to the round of 64 now.  I still need to win that many matches to get to the end.

Q.  What was the thought after you make the 30‑footer to get to 1‑down?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Still felt fine and calm.  I approached it as if I was 3‑down at the time.  I like to think of myself as 2‑down to start.  Then I readjust after going 2‑up.  So I wanted to play aggressive still.  And think of myself as being down and needing to make up shots and that's what we did.

Q.  How did the course play as a match play venue?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It's fun.  Obviously it was ‑‑ 16 being late in the round, and 18, a drivable par‑4 and a reachable par‑5, mixed in with 17 being just a brutal par‑3.  It's a really fun closing stretch if you are going to those holes.  I think it's a good solid layout.  The rough isn't too demanding off the tee.
So you are still seeing shots fly into greens and stay on the greens out of the rough.  Allows for quite a few birdies.

Q.  Do you always follow that 2‑down mentality?  How different is that from the way you play stroke play?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I've always followed that mentality.  The way it's different is I'm normally not thinking of my score.  I'm thinking of what I am compared to the guy across from me.  Play that hole accordingly.  If that means that you just need to make par then you play to make par.
During a stroke play event, I may fire at more pins than I do here if I'm out of position.  At the same time, that's only if something goes bad for the guy across from me.  It doesn't change much in the way I'm going to play the round.  I'm sure the mentality is different given certain situations.

Q.  There are a couple of players who have lost because of trees.  That's sort of common around here.  Did you have any tree trouble at all?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Not really.  Mikko hit a couple where it looked like they were going towards the trees.  I wasn't sure.  I know it can get stuck out here.  We didn't have any trouble there, no.

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