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June 19, 2015

Jordan Spieth


Q. What about Jason?
JORDAN SPIETH: There was no -- it wasn't mentioned by him earlier in the round to me. He may have mentioned it to Colin, but I was walking with him, the next thing I know I turned around and I think he got dizzy and slipped and fell. So at that point, how can we help him out and kind of clear the scene and try and keep the cameras off and let him just rebound from being dizzy. That's all it was, I think. I don't think it was a slip off of the ground. I think it was maybe a little dehydration or something. I'm not really sure. He didn't mention much after the round. We were trying to look out for him.

Q. Can you describe your mental state on the 9th tee, having made the bogey at 7, probably given one away at 8 and sticking in there; and then secondly, maintaining your concentration through everything that happened to make that putt?
JORDAN SPIETH: That was one of the better birdies I've ever made given all the situation. But, yeah, you know, there wasn't much I could do on 7. So I wasn't bummed going to 8 tee. You're going to make bogeys at a U.S. Open no matter where you are. I wasn't too bummed there. I hit a good putt on 8, too, it just slid right by the hole, I thought it would break more. All in all, I went to the 9th tee, saying let's hit a solid shot on the green, two putts later and that's still another good score. I said right here yesterday that I'd take 2-under every round. So I fed a 5-iron in and cut it a little bit with the wind. And it fed above the slope and I had a dead straight putt from there to about 8 feet. So obviously there was some wait time in between, but I actually got somewhat of a read off Jason's putt and was able to knock it in.

Q. Your ability to grind in that situation has kind of become your trademark.
JORDAN SPIETH: Possibly. It's definitely something I've improved on. I don't know if it's my trademark, but it's something that maybe a few years may have gotten to me a little bit more leading up to that tee shot. But my patience and realization that this golf course is going to test your nerve and it's how you rebound from it, my knowledge of that having played in a few of them certainly kicked in there and I was able to make a 2 where I could have made a 3 or worse.

Q. You clearly seemed able to turn things around, can you comment on the spots on 18, and being able to turn it around and have the back nine that you did?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think 18 as a par-4 doesn't make much sense. Of course at the moment when I didn't hit the right shots it's going to make less sense. And whatever, if microphones are going to pick up, they're going to pick it up. I'm not going to put a smile on and be happy with the way I played the hole. So I am who I am. I think the hole doesn't make sense because you can hit it down the left center of the fairway and still end up in the right bunker in trouble. There's a group of about 10, 12 guys that can fly at 310 yards that have an entirely different hole to play there. For anybody else you have to hit it in a 5- or 6-yard area. And if it's going to be a par-4 and you're going to bring that other bunker into play, I think the tee should have been moved up more. But I'm not the one that's putting the course together. I wasn't pleased with -- I just didn't know where I could hit that tee shot. And I wasn't going to hit a 3-iron into a 550 yard par-4. I wasn't going to hit 3-iron off the tee and then hit 3-wood. So all in all, I thought it was a dumb hole today, but I think we're going to play it from there again, so I've got to get over that.

Q. How far were you trying to advance that?
JORDAN SPIETH: I was trying to carry the pot bunker, which wasn't the right move. It was a bad decision. I should have hit a sand wedge out and made bogey at worst. At 4-under through 8 holes, I didn't sit back and make myself aware that a bogey is not terrible. I was too busy on focusing how I could get it to a wedge and get it close to the hole and keep that round going. With the two par 5s on that other nine, it certainly would have been the right move to hit a sand wedge out. I hit a 9-iron, it was plenty of club to carry, I just didn't strike it well.

Q. Do you think 18 is a deciding hole?
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm going to hit a punch slice (laughter).

Q. I know guys focus on their own games. I just wonder, Tiger is having this miserable time, are guys talking about that at all? Because where he was for so long and the respect he's gained, they're saying what's going on out there?
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't think so, given it's a U.S. Open. We have to maintain an insane amount of focus on ourselves. But, sure, it's Tiger, everybody is aware. Everybody hopes that he's back and contending soon. And I've certainly enjoyed my time with him playing practice rounds, and especially in Major Championship practice rounds and learning from him. It seems to be getting close, even though the scores may not show. And wish him the best. But as far as talking about it, no, there's really no murmur, we're just focusing on ourselves.

Q. You were hitting the ball as good as you had Saturday, Sunday and Monday, did you find it again today?
JORDAN SPIETH: I struck the ball significantly better with my approach shots. I hit my irons and wedges better today than yesterday, I also putted better today. Still looking for that driver. I hit my 3-wood better today. I'm not striking the driver in the middle of the face. But it's something so minor, maybe a ball position. I'll find it on the range, I think. I just needed a little time, I didn't have much time yesterday evening to figure it out. I was able to find some fairways with it even on the misses. But as this course gets harder, I'm going to want to strike it better so I can hit less club into these greens.

Q. (Inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH: I'll probably draw a significant amount off of it. It's playing different. And I'm in a very different position. I'm not going to have whatever it was, a 4, 5-shot lead. I don't remember what it was at the weekend. So given it's a U.S. Open, I imagine they're going to try to bring us back to par, at least that's what it seems. It's going to be somewhat hard to bring us back to par if we still have this perfect weather. But I know that it's going to get tougher and tougher now that Saturday and Sunday hits. So I'll draw some on Augusta, but at the same time my patience level has to be even that much higher. I'm not quite putting myself in the same positions off the tee, so I've got to be a little more methodical. At Augusta I was kind of finding fairways, hitting it on the green and I was making everything. That would be nice here if I could do that, but it's a harder golf course than the Masters played this year.

Q. This morning compared to yesterday, what was the difference?
JORDAN SPIETH: At the beginning of the round certainly I could tell a difference, it was softer. But as the round went on, yesterday I think they we were lucky, we had cloud cover and it didn't bake out as much as we started to see near the end of the round today. It got shiny in certain areas. If balls are landing there, they're not going to stop. So there was a little bit of a difference but not too much.

Q. You had a good afternoon round already and you know you can do it.
JORDAN SPIETH: I really believe I could do it anyways, but, yeah, it was nice. It doesn't matter when it is if you shoot in the 60's at a U.S. Open you're going to be pleased.

Q. How do you spend the next 24 hours?
JORDAN SPIETH: Just get some rest. I'm going to go get some food and kind of lay low, try and stay inside. I'll go back out and hit some balls and maybe a few putts and some bunker shots, but just a short practice session. And then I've got my family and friends in town. So we're just going to probably hang out and order some food.

Q. What was it like playing --
JORDAN SPIETH: I love that hole from up top, especially that pin today, because it's gettable. It's so weird to have two completely different holes that you play. Of course I love it today because I played it well. But I like that shot, just because it's a beautiful view. The ball stays in the air forever, you have to judge the wind alternatives differently than you would on a flat lie, it's either going to help it more or hurt it important more. Today it was hurting it more than normal. You can tug it a little bit and it ends up okay. If you hit a good solid shot it ends up going near the hole.

Q. When Jason hit that --
JORDAN SPIETH: I screamed. I had a good view. I was right in line with it and he hit it and the wind started holding it up. That's pretty good, second bounce or third bounce or whatever it was, dunk, I just screamed back at him as if I was sitting in the gallery. It was a cool shot to see. Probably wouldn't scream if he did it on Sunday and we were tied, but it was nice today.

Q. Turning around from 18, and that great back nine, how important is it to put that kind of hole behind you and not let it carry forward to the next nine holes?
JORDAN SPIETH: It started to, off the No. 1 tee I overcooked it and it went into the rough there. And I was really frustrated walking off the tee box, and Michael did a great job coming in and telling me, sit back, you're still very much in this tournament, don't let this get to you. The second something gets to you you're in trouble in a U.S. Open. I hit a 6-iron, hit a good wedge and a really nice putt. The front nine I believe is the harder of the two nines. I told Michael when we were walking down that hole, let's try and get one birdie on this nine, there's not many chances. Just grind it out to shoot 1-under on this nine, and accept 3-under is about the lowest score that was possible. And that's what we did. We ended up shooting it. A couple of missed opportunities, but I also made quite a few putts today.
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