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August 6, 2015

Jordan Spieth


Q. You had a really good birdie on the final hole. Does that make the day any more palatable for you?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, making birdie to shoot even feels better than making bogey to shoot 1-under. That's just the way it works. It was a nice finish. I hit three really good shots. Feels good to take that momentum and see one kind of fall in the lip. I had quite a few that looked pretty good today that just didn't quite go. As far as my first round back after a couple week layover, I'm pleased with the way we finished.

Q. Talk about that first round back. Because I saw you play at the John Deere coming off the U.S. Open. You told me you were maybe a little bit rusty. Was that the case today as well?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, certainly. I think -- you know, it's easy for me to say that there's a little bit of rust. The reason I say it is because I was used to, in the spring and summer, playing something like eight out of nine weeks and stuff, and then all of a sudden, as the season hits the middle of the summer, I've been kind of one on, two off, two on, two off. And that's just an adjustment period, just getting back into the thick of things. It's not easy to do on a course this tough. This is the first time -- I haven't broken par here, and this the first time that maybe I shot par. So all in all, this is a tough track for me. It's a battle, but it's one that I'm looking forward to because I'm not out of it.

Q. You only played it once, though, haven't you?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's still four rounds. You'd think in five chances I could break par on a golf course, whatever you give me.

Q. It wasn't so tough today?
JORDAN SPIETH: I drove the ball okay. My irons were -- my ball striking was okay. I didn't mind where those are right now, but my wedge play was just poor. No. 2 and No. 10 are arguably the easiest holes out here, and I bogeyed them both, and that's frustrating. And then on 16, to have another -- I had 85 yards into 2, 85 yards into 16. That is my go-to number that I always try to lay up to. Those were perfect shots to get to that position. I played those two holes 1-over. It's just unlike me. Those were two poor wedge shots. That's just the bit of rust I'm talking about. That and my midrange, my matching line and speed from those kind of 15 foot and in. But we did make a couple of really good 6- to 7-footers on the last five holes to salvage the round.

Q. Were you surprised by the firmness of the greens at all today?
JORDAN SPIETH: A little bit. I didn't play yesterday, and they were definitely firmer than they were Tuesday, and we played Tuesday morning. So the first hole, I hit a sand wedge in, thinking it was going to kind of bounce. I figured it would bounce and then come back to where it landed. But instead, it ended up, I guess, taking a couple of really big hops, and it was above the hole. So it was a quick adjustment the 2nd hole, because of the 1st hole, I was trying to land it short, and instead got a little cute with it and ended up in the rough. So a bit of a lack of preparation, I guess, from my part. I could have played nine holes yesterday, but I'm trying to save some rest.

Q. I know it's just Thursday, but when you start the way you did, especially on 2, and you hear the ball go through the trees on 3, were you kind of holding your breath there?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, a little bit because I just don't know. I hit the ball great last week. I was hitting it pretty good coming into here, and all of a sudden, I didn't really miss many shots on the first two holes, but I just hit a poor wedge, and all of a sudden, I'm staring 3-over through three in the face, trying to bounce back on a course that could host a major championship it's so hard. So, yeah, I'm sitting there certainly thinking to myself -- I was walking down 4 with Michael, and I said, Michael, I need to get a little bit inspired right now. I need to go ahead and get a little extra focus because I played these first three holes, and it didn't bother me, and that should normally bother me the way I played them. Very lucky break on 3. That saved me at least a shot. Once 4 happened, I was able to settle in.

Q. You clearly like to play or have done well playing the week before a major. Why do you think it's been good for you? What does it do for you?
JORDAN SPIETH: I love playing the week before a major because it -- well, in these tournaments that I've played the week before the major, I've been able to get myself in contention. Therefore, I can kind of find out the tendencies, good and bad, that are in my game at that time when the pressure's on because that's when you really -- your muscles are twitching a little different, your mind's wandering, it's looking at the other scores and what not, and you start feeling the pressure. And you don't really get that on Thursday in the middle of the round, but on the weekend you do. And to have that the week before just fresh in your mind so you can make those minor adjustments that next week for a major, I think is key. Typically, my first week back from a break isn't always my best. I also have won in that week. So it's sporadic. But I feel most comfortable at least having played the week before.

Q. How did you celebrate your birthday?
JORDAN SPIETH: I was just at home. I was in Dallas. We had probably 20, 25 friends over at the house. Just hanging at the pool and having a couple beers. Good time.
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