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May 27, 2015
JOHN BUSH:Â We'd like to welcome Jordan Spieth into the Interview Room here at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Our current FedExCup leader and a two-time winner this season including winning the Masters tournament.
Jordan, first of all, though, let's comment on those three runner-up finishes all in the State of Texas.Â I know you would like to change that this week and get a victory here in Texas this season.
JORDAN SPIETH:Â That's right.Â Kind of funny, three runner-up finishes all from a different way of doing it.Â One was separated from 1st and separated from 3rd and one was just in a tie trying to make a playoff and the other was in a playoff.
So, yeah, I'd like to build on the momentum from last week, most importantly approach it like another event and get in the hunt and get in the mix, let the crowds add to the momentum and change the way that these events in Texas are going.
It's not like they're poor events but it would be really cool to close one out and this would be a dream come true at this event.Â This is one I've always imagined winning and it would be cool to just do it this year with the way the year has gone, just to add to, you know, the start that maybe couldn't have ever seen this early.
JOHN BUSH:Â You're making your fifth start at the AT&T.Â Take us back to 2010, that season when you played here and just what the journey has been like since then.
JORDAN SPIETH:Â Yeah.Â Shoot, that question has been asked four times in here:Â Yeah.Â Going back to each year it's -- it's a little more blurry.Â I've hit more shots in tournament play here.
It's cool being on that 10th tee box and remembering the first shot that I ever hit in a professional tournament when I was 16 with people kind of lining the bridge behind after that rain delay about 5:00 p.m., 5:20 or something, and I had to wait in here playing ping-pong and was trying to kill some time the whole day, I was so nervous.
Went out there and got off to a great start.Â Played I think 11 holes before darkness set in and then had a really good Friday.Â Got in the hunt and I just had a lot of great support, lot of familiar faces.Â Ran with the momentum, playing some solid golf.
I was actually paired with Blake Adams who was in our group was leading the event through the first two days.Â So, that certainly helped.
I saw a lot of putts going in and then was able to -- what that tournament did for me, it allowed me to realize that I can do this, that I can eventually come out her and play professional golf, do it for a living and thoroughly enjoy it as well and enjoy working as hard at it as these guys do.
I was able the see how much time and effort they put into it.Â So, at an early age I was able to experience that which then helped me and made every other tournament seem a little bit easier.
JOHN BUSH:Â Raise your hand with some questions.
Q.Â Jordan, has it been a fun week for you with all those people at your house and are you glad you got a new house to have them over?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â That's the sole reason I got a new house so I can host some funny people this week (laughter).Â It's been a lot of fun.Â I've got Justin Thomas staying there, Patrick Rodgers and Michael my caddy.Â So, we're having a good time.
Yeah, they got in Sunday night.Â Patrick played last week, Justin got in Sunday and we were able to spend a good amount of time together the last few days and obviously probably spend a little too much time with Justin this week.Â Patrick is in the same wave, which makes it easy.
We're going to have a great time.Â We'll have the whole afternoon and evening tonight and morning tomorrow and it's cool.Â We do rent places week to week.Â The only difference is now when they mess up in the house I get a little upset versus us trying to figure out how we clean it up.
But, yeah, it's a great experience.Â Been a really fun week thus far and only get easier once we get inside the ropes.
Q.Â Jordan, your golf friends like Patrick and Justin and then your school friends like Blaine and Eric, they all come from different, you know, places.
What is the connective, what is the thing that they all have in common that make them your friends?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â I don't know.Â Yeah.Â I mean sure, most of the stuff that's in common with Patrick and Justin is just from the experiences we've had going back to playing National Junior Golf events when we were so young together and battling it out and sharing stories from there, and guys like Blaine, Eric Hays, these guys have been my best friends since high school, you know, are the non-golf related part and kind of been in engulfed into the whole golf scene, they didn't really have much of a background in before.
They become friends with each other.Â They're all good guys.Â Like to have a good time and hang out and it's cool to have everybody here this week to kind of have both worlds in one, I guess.
Q.Â Jordan, obviously every player is a creature of habit.Â You mentioned trying to feed off of the energy that you might get here.
Is that typical for you to try to feed off of the crowd's energy as you play?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â Yeah, I think so.Â I really enjoy holes that are big grand stand settings where you know if you make a birdie you're going to hear a really loud roar.Â Gets you excited.Â Gets your blood running.
That's what it's all about.Â That's why we play the sport is to get in contention, feel those nerves, feel the rush and find out how we can learn how to control it, learn how to perfect it.Â It's impossible to perfect it with this sport but that's the fun in it.
Yeah, I try to -- this week I'm able to maybe have more support than anywhere else in the world so I can maybe draw even more off of it but I try -- yeah, week to week it's really cool to see the crowds grow more and more with when you play better and better and, of course, after the Masters since then it's been a great few weeks that I've played where the crowds were just massive and it's been so much fun to feed off of.
It's cool to see kids wearing Under Armour gear, coming out, saying good job at the Masters or Masters stuff and just seeing how widespread, you know, how the game is growing and how these kids like all the young guys on Tour.
It's fun.Â It's cool.Â You see a lot of Rickie Fowler hats, too, and lot of Rory stuff.Â And all in all, this week is kind of my home week and I'm able to feed a little normal than off of them.
Q.Â Last week we talked about some big shots in your career, luck shots, good shots, whatever you want to call it.
How do you quantify the putt on 18 last week when you absolutely had to make that putt to have any chance of a playoff which -- how do you quantify that shot, that putt on 18?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â It was a really good putt.Â I hit it right where I wanted to.Â If you're going to have an 18-footer that you need to make it.Â That's about the easiest one you can have.
It was a little downhill and just outside the right side of the hole and you kind of feed it down there.Â About five feet to go it looked really good.Â I knew I had to make it.
At the same time, I walked up to that green under the impression that I had already lost.Â I didn't think that it was going to make a difference.Â I knew that I needed to be at 12 for a playoff pretty much the whole back-9.Â Knew 12-under, 13 would either win or possibly be a playoff and at least was going to be 12.
So walking up there I didn't think the putt was to win.Â I thought it was an important putt to -- maybe if I get super lucky and somehow to get into a playoff but these guys are too good.Â You can't Dodge that many bullets.
It was an important putt for me for ranking points, for a good solid finish to the day to the round, to the tournament and, you know, it was a fun putt to hit because there's so many people there and it was cool to get that roar right at the end.
But, at the same time, I didn't think that it was necessarily one that would make a difference in the end as far as outcome of the tournament.Â It didn't.
I almost dodged every single one of the bullets.Â We dodged a couple birdie putts that would have got more guys into that tie.Â I think it was George and Kevin had shorter length putts and then dodged Brandt had a putt to get to 12 and Chris obviously won the tournament.
You can't rely -- I hate -- that's why I chose golf.Â I don't want to rely on other people to do anything.Â I want to do it myself.
It was tough.Â I didn't know what to do with myself sitting that long trying to wait.Â I was so upset at not finishing even better on the last 9 holes.Â That happens.Â It was a good birdie to make, though.
Q.Â This course has gotten even more rain than Colonial.Â Wondering how it's playing right now and how different the tournament will play out and how much more water could it take with more rain in the forecast?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â It's certainly different than Colonial.Â It's been beaten by weather moreso.Â Still playable.Â The greens are rolling good.Â They haven't cut the fairways or the greens I don't think in awhile trying to wait for tonight or tomorrow which I think is a good idea.Â They know what they're doing.
I think it will look a lot different tomorrow than it did the last few days.Â Trying to protect it.Â It's still playable.Â It really is amazing that you can host a Tour event after the weather that we've been getting the last month.Â It's brutal.
I saw a post today that I think it was since Blue Bell closed it's been raining in Texas (laughter).Â Seems like that's the case.Â That would make sense.
But, you know, it looks like it's going to be lower scores this week.Â I like this course when 4, 5-under wins when it's firm and windy and it's hot.Â There's nothing you can do about it.Â But it doesn't --
I don't think we're going to be playing it down or playing the ball up through the green.Â I think it's only going to be in the fairways.Â I think it actually makes it less of a bomber's course this week and more of putting on a premium of hitting the fairway because if you hit the ball in the rough it's still going to gather mud on it, it's wet enough.Â Then you're left with a mud ball out of the rough.
If you hit the ball in the fairway you'll be able to clean it and put it on a real good lie.Â The greens are big enough to where you miss, still should be putts.Â All in all, if we're hitting the ball straight this week, there's going to be some low scores that are produced.
Q.Â Following up on the weather, talked to some guys just about the soggy conditions, mentioned having to tweak their equipment a little bit this week.
Are you going to be making any changes or any tweaks to the clubs in your bag for the conditions?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â I'm not, no.Â Last week -- the only changes I really think about are if I use a brand new wedge, the 60-degree or fresh wedge or if I stick with what I was using or sometimes I'll switch between like a driving 3-iron or a hybrid.
I brought both to Colonial last week because if it's Colonial, if it's firm and windy, driving 3-iron is perfect off a lot of those tee boxes.Â I use the hybrid because it's so wet and going to keep the same tools this week.
Q.Â Jordan, I asked Michael why he thinks you guys make such a good team and he said well because you're a really good player.Â Why do you think you guys make such a good team and work so well together?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â He's a great caddy (laughter).
Q.Â Could you expand?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â First and foremost, we've had experience from when I was 17, going back to when I was 17.Â So, we've known each other for awhile.Â Stayed in touch.Â He's a friend first and foremost and I like how he -- I really like how he reaches out to the guys that are the best at what they do in his profession, tries to learn as much as he can from them.Â He does learn a lot.
It's still a work in progress.Â We still make decisions that are rookie mistakes but that happens to everybody.Â They make those decisions here and there.
All in all, though, we bounce back great.Â Every time there's a mistake that we think may have cost us a shot or two in an event that were vital, the next week we come bag stronger.
Last week we made one of those decisions.Â This week we're going to bounce back better.Â We knew we made it.Â It's a team win, team loss.Â He's the only one I can trust out there on the course and done a pretty good job together.
You know, hopefully we'll bounce back this week even stronger.
Q.Â Jordan, you mentioned this last week at the Colonial but you've been sinking a lot of putts between 20 feet and even beyond that.Â You have some of the best numbers on the Tour.
At the same time, those really short putts seem to have been giving you a little bit of trouble last week.Â Do you expect some changes with the greens here?Â Is it something you've been working on, especially last couple of days?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â If you look back at the stats throughout every length my putting is up towards the top.Â I just missed a couple of them last week.Â It's going to happen.
The longer ones are more luck-based.Â The shorter ones can still bounce or whatever.Â It just happens.
I'm just going to keep working on the same things.Â I'm not putting any particular focus on anything special, not looking much into it.Â My stroke is right where it needs to be, alignment, speed control.
I just got a little off in my head when after that triple I was just kind of started just wanted to get that round in.Â I missed a couple short ones in that second round but, yeah, mid to long range I just -- I see the lines great.Â Consider that a very big strength of mine is longer putts, being able to find out where I'm going to feed it using more of your imagination.
I've gotten a lot better over the last year and a half inside ten feet, significantly better.Â I've got a lot of confidence there, too.Â It's just that I make a lot more putts inside 12 feet than I do outside 12 feet.
I promise you, compared to Tour average maybe last week it didn't look that way but, all in all, I'm very confident from any length with the putter right now.
Q.Â Are you tired of Masters questions yet?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â No.Â I'll never get tired of them.
Q.Â 2009 when Angel Cabrera won the next morning he woke, you know, had to ask Charlie Epps if it really happened, if it was a dream.
Did you have a moment like that the next morning or morning since?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â I woke up and I think I still had the jacket on.Â I realized pretty quickly it was real (laughter).
No, it was just -- I more had that moment that night.Â There's just so much that goes on right after the round finishes.Â You've got media, media, media, the interviews, you go on the green and go to a dinner and you have more media after the Chairman's Dinner and finally get back and you just kind of sit back like wait, that really just happened this week.
It was just for me, it was a little different because the expectation was put on it from the 1st Round, I was leading from the get-go.Â It wasn't like it was just a shocker at the end, like I expected myself to be able to pull that out.Â I was the one that had the target on his back.
So, it was more just a relief like I closed this thing out the way that you're supposed to close it out when you're playing the best golf of anyone there that week and that was what was so cool to sit back and exhale and say -- it wasn't as much did that really happen as it was just more of a relief that I could close it out on what I thought -- what I think is the biggest stage in all of golf.
Q.Â Jordan, obviously Byron's name is on this tournament but given your popularity here, your ties here, your ties to AT&T, the golf clinic, kind of feel like the unofficial host this week or, you know, obviously you're from Dallas and you're the most popular player here this week?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â I wouldn't say unofficial host.Â I have a lot of -- lot in common and moreso now with AT&T with this tournament and no, I don't think I would call it a host at all.
When I step in tomorrow I'm going to see a lot of familiar faces so I'll know where I'm at but, at the same time, it's another tournament.Â It's one that I want to win as bad as any other tournament now and I'm going to work as hard as I can to do so but I don't see myself as any form of host this week.Â I guess I'm just the home town guy this week, I guess.
One of the many, yeah.
Q.Â The AT&T deal that you signed at this place, how has that gone for you?Â It seems like it's really allowed you to do some other things that maybe you hadn't been able to do before.
JORDAN SPIETH:Â My relationship with AT&T?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â It started around this time last year.Â We put the golf bag in play in October, November.Â It's been an unbelievable relationship.Â It made a lot of sense.
We've been talking about it from when I turned professional.Â We had great relationship with the Stakeys and other AT&T executives from before I turned pro, just from high school, from the Jesuit connection.
It was what I thought a matter of time if they wanted -- if AT&T wanted to partner up and take a chance and get back into golf and get back into a logo.
It couldn't have come at a better time.Â It's been great.Â We've done a lot of cool things with AT&T.Â The best is coming, too.
It's a long-term deal.Â I've gone on cool trips.Â I went with Mr. Stephenson to Augusta last December which ultimately helped me this year when I played there plus I got to meet a lot of people that I don't think people my age normally get to meet and hang out with and learn from.
I'm learning a lot about telecommunications and more of the business side of this world versus just the on course and I'm enjoying all of it.
Q.Â Jordan, you have a good story about where the Green Jacket has appeared perhaps here in your home town?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â Has appeared?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â I think the coolest place in Dallas was Mavs Game 4 against the Rockets.Â I went down and went on to mid-court with Mark Cuban during 2nd or 3rd quarter and at the time the Mavs were trying to rally to save the sweep and I went out there and received an honorary jersey.Â I had the jacket on and stuff.
It was cool to see the ovation at American Airlines Center.Â It was an awesome feeling.Â I had chills.Â I started swinging it up in the air, doing anything we could to get the Mavs a win.Â They ended up with one.
Q.Â All you?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â Certainly not on me.Â It was fun to at least feel like I was a part of that, getting people going.
To see the city and kind of stand up and recognize it and little -- the video they played was actually the AT&T ad they played on the big screen before I walked out there which was a really cool ad.
That's probably the closest place that's been around here.
Q.Â What was it like yesterday in front of all those Junior Golfers?Â You're not too far removed from the other side of the ropes.
JORDAN SPIETH:Â It was cool.Â Third or fourth year maybe I've done that.Â Hope to continue doing it.Â It was a little bit of a bummer.Â We wanted to do it on Monday when more kids were off school and obviously if you were here at 4:00 it's really good idea we pushed it till Tuesday.Â We made that decision in the right way.
With Harrison and Dan it went really well.Â I was kind of boring I think at the beginning.Â I wish I had more jokes to tell but Harrison did a great job on the mike, is trying to teach some of the basics and get involved with Dan for some of the fun parts.Â It was really cool.
I saw some familiar faces and then I saw loads of kids that were so interested in the game, interested in making it fun.Â Looked like a lot of young athletes that are choosing golf which is really cool because that's kind of the path that I took.
And then afterwards we tried to get to as many as we could sign stuff and whatever because when I was their age that was the coolest thing was getting autographs to the athletes I looked up to.
I probably mentioned it before but one of the coolest things was I still have a ticket from the Byron Nelson when I was probably like 11 or 12, I have Adam Scott's signature on it.Â He was my favorite player at the time.Â I still have in it my parents room on a billboard or board in my room there.
I thought his signature was so cool.Â I tried to work on mine and stuff.Â It wasn't as cool as his (laughter).
JOHN BUSH:Â We're happy to have Mark Harrison, the Executive Director of the North Texas PGA.Â As you know, he'll be running the Web.com Tour event in town next week and can you talk a little bit about your relationship with the North Texas PGA, how cool it is that the Web.com Tour is coming into town next week?
Probably many of your friends that will be teeing it up.
JORDAN SPIETH:Â We're involved through my foundation with the North Texas PGA.Â We're also excited about being involved in the Drive, Chip and Putt now.Â Going to be a really cool addition to it.
Mark has been a good friend and a mentor of mine I guess from when I was really young.Â I met Mark back in Junior Golf days.Â What he does to grow the game in this area is special and running that Web Tour event, you guys are going to do an awesome job as you always do with everything you do.Â Thank you, Mark.
Q.Â Similar question, you're here with AT&T in Dallas, Under Armour is a big sponsor of yours.Â Do you prefer to know all intricacies sees and details of all the contracts you sign or you just prefer Jay and Sean to know that and give you the big picture?Â How much do you read every page of a contract or do you?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â I'm very involved.Â We're all involved together.Â Jay is the expert.Â He's gone through hundreds of them but everyone is different and so Jay learns a lot from me, too, and what I want and how we want to structure things and what we can do with our partners and so I'm involved to every detail.
I know how many days and how many appearances, I know what we're going to try and do together, different activations and I'm very informed with the contracts.
Q.Â Do you read through them and check them out and everything?
JORDAN SPIETH:Â I read through normally -- normally it's summarized because a lot of the wording I still probably wouldn't understand and I don't think --
Q.Â Jay does as lawyers do.
JORDAN SPIETH:Â Yeah.Â I read summaries of each page and whatnot before we do any kind of deal.
JOHN BUSH:Â Jordan Spieth.Â Thank you, sir.
JORDAN SPIETH:Â Thanks guys.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports