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August 16, 2015

Jordan Spieth

Kohler, Wisconsin, USA

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the 97th PGA here at Whistling Straits. Like to thank Jordan Spieth for stopping by after today's round. Jordan, you played very well today. Jason seemed, however, to be measured and on point. What was it like playing with him today?

JORDAN SPIETH: It was fantastic. We play a lot of golf and we played a lot of Major Championship rounds together and that was the best I've ever seen him play.

Just given the timing of it and whatever, he's impressive to watch strike the ball, but it was nothing like today. He took it back and he wailed on it and it was a stripe show. It was really a clinic to watch.

As he pulled driver late in the round, I kept having hope, as he took it back, that maybe one of these drives he'll miss and he'll get a bad break and maybe he'll have a double and it will just startle him. If you're left in the position of hoping that, you don't want to be in that position.

You want to be able to control it. I just never had the opportunity to really control the round today, even in the middle of that round I could have made up a couple more shots, gotten it to maybe one shot or two, one or two shots with six holes to go.

But he still was in control. He was still making birdie on the holes that I didn't birdie. So I wasn't going to gain that much momentum.

I could have obviously made more putts today, I could have done a little bit more, but it would have been hard to shoot 8-under and to go 15-under on the weekend. That's just very hard to do at a Major Championship. When I think about it that way, I'm really proud of the way that we fought. I'm proud of the way that we finished the round off, couple of the up-and-downs I had today were a couple of the best ones I ever had in my life and it was Jason's day. I mean power to him. Congratulations, he played like he had won seven or eight Majors before. There's a pep in his step and it was going to be his day.

JOHN DEVER: Back to your game today, is there any one particular missed opportunity you wish you had another crack at or did you just leave it all out there?

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I think 11. The putt on 11 was a very weak putt. I had a spot I wanted to roll it over, I got over it and I lost my spot and I didn't back off like I normally do. I just went with it, thinking I'll just stroke it where I'm aimed and it will be good. I missed it. If I make that one, I now birdied 10, 11, and I think I'm three back.

And then on 12, he would have been in a bunker and I've got a makeable putt. That would have been maybe a little more nerve wracking for him. I don't think it would have affected anything, though. The stretch of 8 through 12 is what beat me up today, playing those holes even par in the positions I was in. Really would have liked to have shot 2- or 3-under through that five-hole stretch.

JOHN DEVER: Questions, please.

Q. Athletes in all sports talk about consistency and trying to be there all the time. Your year, not only in the Majors, but the whole year, the other tournaments, you must be very pleased at least with being there at each tournament.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it's been a very, very good year. There's nothing -- obviously this is as easy a loss as I've ever had because I felt that I not only couldn't do much about it, as the round went on, I also accomplished one of my life-long goals and in the sport of golf. That will never be taken away from me now. I'll always be a No. 1 player in the world. That's what, when I look back on this year, the consistency that we have had this year and especially being able to step it up in the biggest stages, that's a huge confidence builder and that's what's allowed us as a team to become the best, the No. 1 ranked, I should say, and I believe right now the best in the world. Second best behind Jason Day, of course, given this week.

But it's an incredible honor and, yes, you want to be in it all the time, that's why we play the sport. We don't play to take a week and just sneak by the cut and just get up early and tie for 35th. Nobody really has that on their mind when they tee it up to begin a week. You want to feel the pressure that we felt today. That was fun. It was fun waking up today, knowing I've got another chance to win a Major. This is -- you get that blood running through your veins your mind just knows the position that you're in. It's just a different feeling than any other position.

I enjoy it. It's a thrill. And I love being able to ride some momentum from the crowd, I like being able to see some cool shots, make some putts when you do feel that pressure.

Q. Was there one shot of Jason's where you said, he's just not able to be caught today? One specific shot?
JORDAN SPIETH: The tee shot on 11. The tee shot on 11, if he gets a little off line there, either way, he has to lay up and it's probably a par. I thought at the time my ball was still going to be okay. It was going to be good enough to reach the green. Got a tough break in the rough to the side. But when he hit that tee ball and I walked up and saw where it was, I turned to him, I actually out loud turned to him and said holy -- you know, and I yelled it over to him and I said you've got to be kidding me. And then he gave me a little bicep. And when he hit that shot and he had what looked like a wedge into the hole, I knew I was going to be playing uphill from there.

Q. You've already kind of assessed your Major Championship season, but I wonder if you could also add to that a thought about four shots shy of what would have been the Grand Slam.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it's amazing to think about, you can look at it two different ways, I think. You can look at it as four shots shy of the Grand Slam or can you look at it as -- when you say that, you could look at that from a negative view of what could I have done or you could look at it where maybe one putt and I would only have one Major this year. If Dustin's goes in at the U.S. Open, I should be fortunate that we caught a break there. Then we had a chance to win another one.

It was amazing. You only get four a year, to have an opportunity to win all of them is so cool. I hope to have a season like this one at the biggest stages again. I hope that we can do this again. It's not easy, it takes a lot out of you. I'm tired right now. I mean, I left it all out there. I'm tired from the Majors this year because of what it does. It really does wear you out mentally, trying to grind that much. And there's a reason I have a receding hairline and it's because I've got those, that kind of pressure building up and that kind of stress. And as much of a thrill as it is, it can wear you down. And you just got to pick your spots to rest, and we just did a great job of picking the right times to put the clubs away. The right times to pick it back, the right times to really grind the ax and give ourselves a chance.

Q. Yesterday you were in here and assessed that you kind of got in the final group on the basis of two really good nines, two great nines. So in the two Majors that you won this year, how many great holes would you have said you played in each and how many great holes did you see out of Jason Day today?

Q. How many great holes do you think you put together in the 72 to win each of the two Majors you won this year and how many did you see out of Jason today?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, it's tough to say because you've got, it's almost relative to the field. Because at Augusta, that was the best golf -- I would argue that's the second best golf I've ever played other than Tiger's event last year. I was hitting it to a point where I wanted it and every putt was going right where I wanted it. I would say those two times everything was just right on.

The U.S. Open, I got away with not striking the ball incredibly well and just put it in the right spots and didn't make too many big numbers.

I don't know. I don't know. It's, I think, a little early. I think it's a little soon to say that, to put a number on how many great holes. But obviously I had two unbelievable rounds, so four straight great rounds at Augusta National to get to 14-under.

The U.S. Open, that was just kind of consistent through there. There was nothing really special, nothing poor.

Jason today, I think today he'll look back and he'll say the way that he started was the key to everything. Hitting the fairway on 1, the up-and-down out of the bunker on 2. 2-putt on 3 and then hitting the green on 4. Birdieing 5. Those first five holes couldn't have gone -- I birdied 6, as well, and 7 -- but really the first four or five holes there, when that wind's up, and it's tough to hit those fairways -- if you miss the fairways, you're going to be even par to 1-over, and instead he plays them at 2-under in the first five before turning back downwind. And I think when he looks back, that will be the key to what he did to accomplish, to win this championship.

It's not easy to sleep on a lead in a Major. It's not easy to start around when you're sleeping on the lead. Each putt that you hit to start -- on a practice green, each putt that you hit to start the round, feels like a putt to win the biggest tournament of your life. And you've just got to get through it. You got to find a way to have it be positive and he did that.

That's where I was looking to maybe capitalize, was to get in early, maybe get that thing tied up in the first six, seven holes, and instead I was left at four behind.

Q. Earlier this week you said you came in here thinking that maybe it was going to be a bomber's paradise, but then you disagreed with that. Now after playing, and especially playing with Jason Day in that final round, do you feel at all that maybe you had a little bit of a disadvantage out there when you see him hit those shots?
JORDAN SPIETH: Not really. He just hit it so straight. It wasn't -- the distance was fantastic, certainly helped him, but even if he hit it shorter, he still would have probably birdied 11, he still would have -- a couple of those par-5s, he was able to reach. 16, he still could have reached it. He was hitting it so straight. Yeah, sure, if you hit it long and straight, if you hit it his distance and you're hitting it straight, he's going to have a huge advantage over me, because I just can't hit it that far. I hit it a little more crooked than he did too today. So to actually battle it out and have a chance coming down was pretty cool.

I think it's a shot maker's golf course. I don't necessarily believe in it being a bomber's course, but I do believe that on a golf course like this, there is some luck involved. I believe that when you hit a shot off line, you have an opportunity for it to be in the lip of a bunker or you have an opportunity for it to be in between on a bare lie, and it all depends on the bounces. The further off line you go, you can actually be better off than if you just miss the fairway. I don't know if that's an advantage to anybody, I think it's just sometimes it's who gets the best breaks. And the couple -- he got a bad break on 8 that it went into the lip. I got a bad break on 4. He got a good one on 16. Those were the only two shots off the tee that he missed all day. He bogeyed one of them and the other one -- well, he ended up bogeying 16, too, but he could hit it to the green.

I had a few of them today that, when I missed the drives, there was a chance that I could have had a good lie and done something with it, and I didn't ended up having the tough break. But I got plenty of good ones this week as well.

Q. I know your perspective is limited because you've only played Majors for a few years now, but how difficult is it to try to win and contend in Major Championships with so many not just good players right now and elite players but so many elite young players?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, with so many people being so fearless, and not only fearless, but when they're fearless, they commit to those aggressive lines and then pull off the shots. That's tough.

I looked at the board today thinking with the breeze being up, I didn't think that everybody would be significantly under par. I looked at the board and said, wow, it was at one point during the middle of the round I looked and saw and that I was probably in third or fourth at the time and I thought that I was still a couple under and competing in this thing.

I was just amazed at how great the golf was this week for -- you guys would know the number on how many people got to double digits under par. This was not an easy golf course, and it wasn't playing easy. It definitely wasn't -- that first afternoon was the teeth of the golf course. After that, there was some scorable conditions, but still, you miss a couple tee shots and double bogeys right in your fairways. For that many people to get to double digits under par means that there's some incredible golf being played and what that does for me at this point is now I realize that although we have just reached that goal of being No. 1 in the world, with the way these guys are playing and the way you see it being played on the biggest stage, it's going to be really, really hard to keep that position.

That's how I think of it with the game's young players. It's just, it doesn't matter apparently if you've won a major or not before, it helped me at the U.S. Open and here we did what we could and it wasn't enough because Jason just played that good.

Q. When you assess your Major season, what will you be most proud of?
JORDAN SPIETH: The two wins, yeah. Definitely the two wins. Major Championships are what we're remembered for in this sport. It's what I imagine all of our dreams were as kids, to play professional golf and to compete and try and win Major Championships.

So to have two of those this year is amazing. This year isn't over. I've got a lot of big tournaments coming up. But the four biggest are finished now until April. And when I look back, I'm just going to look back at those first two and be obviously extremely pleased.

JOHN DEVER: Thank you, Jordan Spieth.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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