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June 7, 2015

Jordan Spieth


Q.  Tell me how you feel about today's round?
JORDAN SPIETH:  A little better.  This is one of the better rounds I've played in a long time.  It's not playing easy out there.  It's gusty winds, you've got side winds.  The greens are getting crusty and they're getting fast.
Very pleased with today's round.  I thought that if I played great golf I'd shoot 5‑under today and that was my goal.  So to grab a couple extra is nice.

Q.  I felt like today's conditions are you've got to pick a club and you've got to take a shot.  But you've got to pick the right time.  What can these players do coming down the stretch?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, it's tough.  These pins, if there's no wind, you can feed it into a lot of them.
But today, with these crosswinds, you've got to watch out.  If it's not the right time and it catches that wrong gust into the breeze instead of down, you end up in the water and you have to rehit the shot.  This back nine is really tricky with that wind.  I think the stretch of 8 through 12 is huge.
I know the guys‑‑ the leaders are on 9 or 10.  As they play these next few holes, I think it will determine a lot and I'll have an idea if I need to stick around or if I can get going.

Q.  What do you plan on doing between now and the end of the tournament?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Get some food.  Just kind of hang low.  If it starts to get interesting, I may go out and listen up.  Until then I'm just going to kind of stay in the clubhouse here.

Q.  Exciting things, the chip‑in at 7, the eagle at 15.  You had a lot of big shots today, you've got to be very pleased, especially with the way you finished?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, if my putts weren't going to go in, I had to find a different way to do things.  I missed a couple of 4‑footers for birdie early in the round and really‑‑ Michael and I did a great job of rebounding, recognizing that we've got a lot of golf yet.  I knew I probably needed everything to go perfectly to win, and I think that still needed to be the case.  To battle back like that and to get a couple of those to go in, those chip‑ins, and make a couple of putts on 11.
The one on 18 is the exact putt that I struggled with this whole week and I was pumped to walk up and see that I had it, because I wanted some revenge.

Q.  Today was your 12th straight round of par or better.  What is the reason behind this remarkable consistency lately?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I'm not sure.  I'm hitting the ball better and better each week.  I putted well at Colonial, but didn't strike it great.  But struck it better last week and even better this week with my putter being a little off.  Everything is kind of coming in place for the U.S. Open.
But to go four rounds at par or better on this course is special.  It was nice.  It was set up a little easier the first couple of rounds.  I'm not sure if there's a method to the madness, but if I can keep those rounds going the next four out at Chambers Bay, I'll be in good shape.

Q.  You're visibly bigger and stronger, especially in the shoulders.  Your drives are over 300 yards now, that has to be one of the reasons?
JORDAN SPIETH:  That definitely helps.  The ball is going farther.  I noticed some fatigue the last few days here on the back of the stretch, this three‑week stretch with those home events.
But by the time of Chambers, I should be back to full strength.  I had some adrenaline today and the ball was carrying, that was nice to see.

Q.  Is there a chance you might be in a playoff today?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, there's certainly a chance.  This back nine is not playing easy.  I thought I played it extremely well and shot 2‑under.  If the wind gusts pick up or guys are kind of playing a little conservative, I know I have a chance.  I know the lead is at 15.  I thought I needed to get to 14 to have a chance for a playoff today and fell one short.  But that was a good run in there.

Q.  Did you mean to be so aggressive on those closing holes with your approaches and your putts or was the situation dictating it?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No. 16 in particular, I was trying to be aggressive until you get to 16.  I was going at the SHOTLink tower there, that was our line, that was the intention.  I ended up about 15 yards left of that and it almost went in.  So, no, that wasn't the intention on that hole.  But I did have a good number.  I had a nice ripped 9‑iron.
I had good clubs on the last three holes.  When you start feeling the adrenaline, you want to swing hard at something.  I had a 9‑iron and a gap wedge and another 9‑iron on 18, which is about as easy as you can have those three holes.
So a little bummed I didn't get one of those putts to go on 16 or 17.  I thought I put good strokes on those, better strokes than I have really from the second nine of the first day until then.  I put good strokes on them, just a little low on the first line, a little high on the next, the left‑to‑righters.
But cleaned it up on 18 there.  18's putt was the hardest of the three.  And that's a putt I struggled with this week from inside 10 feet, downhill left‑to‑righter.  I was walking with Michael and said, gosh, I hope that's six feet.  I just need some revenge on these six‑footers, I've missed so many of them this week that I want to get up there and knock one right in the middle, and it snuck in the right side.

Q.  Can you take us through the chip‑in?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Which one?  (Laughter).

Q.  For the eagle.
JORDAN SPIETH:  The eagle.  I had 242 to the pin, 236 front into the wind off an upslope.  A hybrid normally maxes out at 240, which means it's not even going to reach the front of the green.  It wasn't a 3‑wood.  So I just went ahead and just smashed a hybrid.  I saw it fly the bunker, I figured it would kick down.  And I think it got a tough break to fly it and not catch the green.
I had that shot two years ago to the same pin from the left bunker and I made it.  I made eagle on the hole from the left side of the left bunker, hitting the same shot.  I landed it just on the green, it went all the way around and went in.  I tried to visualize that, pick the line, pick the spot.  The lie wasn't great, so I had to kind of open it up and just get right under it.
But it was kind of funny to have a similar chip shot on a Sunday that I made a couple of years ago and to see it go in again.  I yelled at it "do it, do it" because it looked ‑‑ with four or five feet to go and it was exciting to see it go in.

Q.  Yesterday you said the golf gods were not on your side.  Would you say they were on your side today?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Not necessarily. Yeah, to have two chip‑ins, you've got to catch a break.  There's no doubt.
But 14, I look back and really wasn't a bad shot, it hit down the left side and it hit so firm.  I think a lot of balls are doing that there, we just didn't recognize it.  It ended up bouncing in the water.
But they were certainly a little nicer today than they have been.  But I would call it kind of evening out over the day.  On a course like this, you're going to get some unlucky breaks more than you will catch good ones just given how tough it is.  If you don't hit the shot exactly where it's supposed to go, you can't expect it to end up being right where you wanted.  Some courses you can get away with missing it a little bit.  Out here you can't.

Q.  What did you hit on 14?
JORDAN SPIETH:  14, I hit a hybrid off the tee.  I actually walked up‑‑

Q.  The shape was what hurt you?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, if I held it up, it would have been a lot shorter and fine.  But that hole with that pin today, if you're hitting a 9‑iron or 8‑iron into that green it's really firm back there and it's almost impossible to judge that next shot correctly.  If I had‑‑ I thought a hybrid‑‑ it was supposed to be right‑to‑left and, if anything, a little bit of a hurting wind.  So I was trying to hit a draw hybrid to get it up there to where I could maybe get a pitching wedge on it.  The wind is flipping and gusting, and I caught that down gust and it went forever.  It went 255, 60 yards there.

Q.  You played so well today, what do you gain by now having a week off before the U.S. Open?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, that was exactly what we needed for some momentum going into The Open.  I felt like it was coming along.  I was striking the ball a lot better this week, to be down the list.  When I felt like I was playing well, I just couldn't capitalize on the opportunities.  My putts per green in regulation was much lower than it has been in a while.  I just wasn't capitalizing, but it was all there.  And I felt okay putting, I just lost a little bit of trust on the shorter length ones.
So to see some of them go in today, I made some good par saves, like on 12 and 8 were great par saves.  Those putts were ones that I really struggled with earlier in the week and I just was more positive walking into them today.  Kind of strutted into them, tried to be a little cocky walking into the ball.  And just seeing it go in is the way you need to putt those.  And I just didn't have that the other days.
But today I gained a lot of momentum going into the U.S. Open no matter what happens.

Q.  Was your game where you wanted it when you got here this week?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I think it was.  The first round was potentially going to be a great round.  The scores were lower in the afternoon.  We were off in the morning and I was 5‑under through 16 with a par 5 and a downwind par 5 and two easier holes after that.  But I played really solid that first round, and then I just got a little off with the putter.
But all in all, my game came in here ready.  I wanted to work into contention to feel the nerves, that's the best way to get prepared for a major.  I would have liked to maybe feel the nerves for two solid days on the weekend, but I certainly was feeling it there on the back nine.  It felt awesome.  It was nice to be back in the hunt.

Q.  Now that you posted a number, how do you spend the rest of the time as other guys finish up?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I'm going to go in and grab some food, probably sign some stuff.  Go grab some food and then just sit around.  I probably won't watch golf.  I'll just get some updates here and there if I need to be ready, start to pack up my stuff.  And if I need to go out to the range, that's a good break and I'll try and get ready.

Q.  Any question about your game?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, just really need to work hard on my putts inside ten feet this week, and I'm going to work‑‑ Michael told me some shots that I needed to get ready for Chambers, he walked it a few weeks ago a couple of times.
Other than that I feel very confident off the tee right now, about as good as I felt ever.  My ball striking with my irons took a big leap forward this week, and my wedges feel good, too.  It comes down to knocking the short ones in the middle.

Q.  Tell me what you know about Chambers.  Give us the number one asset you need there.
JORDAN SPIETH:  I think it's going to be a lot of speed control.  I think it's going to be a lot of judging the undulation.  It's going to be different short game shots, almost like you're playing an Open Championship.  You need to learn whether you're going to putt it off of these slopes.  It's going to be really tight and kind of dry, so it's going to be‑‑ you are going to need to practice flying some ridges with spin, if you have a hybrid shot.  I need a shot I can trust from the runoff areas.  The greens are massive, so controlling your speed on these longer putts, you're not going to be able to feed it into a lot of these pins.

Q.  In some respects you almost are describing Pinehurst?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yes, but it's going to be a little easier to hit greens than Pinehurst because they're bigger and things feed into the greens rather than feeding off the greens.

Q.  Did you make any equipment adjustments that you can think of going into next week?
JORDAN SPIETH:  The only thing I'll think about is taking a driving iron instead of my hybrid.  But it's not really windy there usually, so a hybrid is going to be beneficial in lofting the ball up in the air.  But that will be the only thing, and that's what I do going into an Open Championship.  The balance on my lob wedge is almost none, and I think that's going to be very beneficial next week, that I'm used to hitting something with no bounce.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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