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May 29, 2015

Jordan Spieth


Q.  Jordan Spieth, only two birdies on Day 1 and three birdies to end your round here on Day 2.
For you, what was the difference to tackle this golf course?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Lot of short birdie putts today.  Zeroed in on the targets nicely.  Straightened the ball out a little bit and was able to kind of fire in and get back to some of these holes and just trust it.
Yeah, the finish was certainly nice.  The middle of that round there I was only around 1, 2-under again.  To be able to close 5-under on the day, puts me in contention.

Q.  We were talking about your driver off the deck on 16 and the fact that you had the ball in your hand.  What effect does that actually have on playing it?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Has a lot on that hole.  That hole and 16 are two holes if the breeze is picked up you may have into the wind and your 3-wood may not get there and for me I had my pitch mark right behind where my ball was so you could puff it up, perch it up almost like a small tee.
I did that a couple times we've had ball in hand on 16 in the past, never done it on No. 7.  Worked today.  Felt pretty good with that and went to a birdie.

Q.  All told now, what is your thought process now as you had three consecutive 2nd place finishes in Texas.  You're going to be in contention the final 36.
JORDAN SPIETH:  I think the scores will be pretty low this afternoon, I would imagine.  I'm thinking I'll be 6, 7 back which is still in the hunt.
For me, I just need to go out tomorrow and shoot a round like I did today, really zero in on the targets and see if I can get some mid range putts to go.  The 65s, 64s are out there tomorrow in a big day.  Certainly a moving day.

Q.  Jordan, it's easy to say that your stroke is better, you had 7 birdies.  Your stroke did look good.  The key was you gave yourself more birdie opportunities.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah.  They were mostly all really short putts.  Did make birdie inside of five, eight feet.  I think until No. 8, No. 8 was the first putt I made from that range this week.
So, still have yet to see a mid range go but to have that many short birdie putts is really reassuring to improve on the ball striking from yesterday, give myself some chance.
I still made a couple mistakes, missing a couple spots where you really don't want to.  All in all, very pleased with the chances I gave myself.

Q.  Preferred lies make a big difference.  Able to put it on grass.  Tell me about driver off the deck.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Was actually -- if that was even legal I think a couple weeks ago when it was raining, wherever we were.  You can perch it up on your pitch mark.
Hit it a little lower off the tee and pitch mark was right behind where my ball was.  Perfect yardage, like 270 adjusted up the hill into the wind.  Couldn't get 3-wood there.  Tee that driver up almost like a low tee and faded on me and held the green nicely.

Q.  A really beautiful shot.  Two-putt birdie for you.  Thoughts going into the weekend?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I think I'll be 6, 7 back.  This course is playing I think a little easier today.  Some of the pins, you can certainly get to them.  The scores are going to be low.  An exciting afternoon of golf to watch.
At least I got it to where I have a chance the make some noise.  Going to need a round like today the next two days I think in order to be able to win but get myself into contention, see what happens.
Today I was actually already here and eaten breakfast and drove back home, went back to sleep for a couple hours and then drove back and from here to my house I passed where you saw on the news that flooding right around where the old Texas Stadium was and took a little extra time getting back.  I was a little short on time but, all in all, yeah, I don't know what to attribute it to but little extra sleep didn't hurt this morning.

Q.  Seven birdies, two bogies.  Really caught fire on your back-9.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah.  They were all really short range again.  Made one on No. 8 from what you would consider mid range.  Other than that 3, was still probably 8 feet and that was the longest putt.  They all really, really short or tap-in birdies.
So, that's very reassuring for my ball-striking.  Normally I'm a threat in the mid range game and not quite hitting them that close.  It's cool to see them go that close today.
I trusted my iron game, trusted my wedge game and was able to tap those in and then to close with three birdies is fantastic.  That always leaves a good taste in your mouth going into the weekend, especially when it got me back into contention.

Q.  What did you think with your walk to the tee box on 14?
JORDAN SPIETH:  We were carted up there.  It was really tricky.  We get up there and it's 105 yards but it's off a steep up-slope and really muddy.  Not the easiest 105-yard shot.
After making bogey yesterday what I thought was a good tee shot, didn't have to deal with any trees.  That was good.  It was weird.
I don't think we'll see that, if ever, again, something like that.  I hope the weather holds up and we can get back to a par 4 there.  I think it's one of the more famous holes and deciding holes in this golf course is 14.

Q.  Did you play in a tournament before where the par went from 70 to 69?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No.  Only a USGA event, maybe an Amateur.  I don't think 70 to 69.  The last par 69 I played was in the Northeast Am.  Pretty sure the Northeast Am.
Other than that, I don't think I played in one.  It's kind of nice to shoot par and shoot in the 60s.

Q.  You're three off the lead.  How do you feel about your chances going into the weekend.
JORDAN SPIETH:  I think I'll be 6, 7 off the lead.  The scores this afternoon you'll see some five, 6-unders.  Still in the hunt, 6 back.
Have to put something together like 8, 9, 10-under this weekend.  It's possible.  I made more birdies today.  I know I can do that.  It's just a matter of limiting those mistakes.
If I can get out there and make 5, 6 birdies a round I can give myself a chance to win.  Today that was all I was trying to do was get back into somewhat of contention, somewhat in the hunt and those last three holes really did it for me.

Q.  What did you think about the grounds crew and job they did just to get this place playable?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I was walking with Justin down number 4.  He said to me, "You know, I actually didn't think" -- "I actually thought it would be more wet."  I was like, "You know what, you're kind of right".
It's soaked out there.  Look at me.  There's nothing you can do about it.  To make this course playable and the greens really still putt the way that they're putting, is incredible.  The guys here have done a great job.
They've probably not really enjoyed each night when -- for the last month or two months but hats off to them and hopefully we can -- they can catch a break now.

Q.  What's the biggest challenge for you guys in playing in conditions like this?
JORDAN SPIETH:  One of the biggest challenges is trying to stay patient.  You recognize that in these soft conditions there's a lot of birdies that are being had by anybody.
The hardest part is sit back and let it come to you.  I think that's what I struggled with the first 27 holes or so.  I got off 17, I was walking down 18 with Michael saying, "I'm being a little negative, my expectations were maybe set a little bit high right now for how I play on this course and this tournament.  You know, let's try and lower them, hit the shots we need to hit" and from there on I think we made 6 birdies coming in on the last 10 holes.
I was able to fire at more pins, not really worry about anybody else.  Really actually helped because I didn't know what score I was at when it's a par 4, 4 par, par 3, don't really know what it's at.
It could have been tricky if it was cut line, not really know where you stand.  But, from my position, it actually I think helped me.

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