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August 28, 2015

Jordan Spieth

Edison, New Jersey

Q. On 12, did they have you look at that?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, not look at it. It was a tricky situation because one, I'm not 100 percent aware of the rule because there is a fine line to it if you're looking, because I declared to Michael before walking in, if I can't see the ball, I'm going to play it -- if I can't see it visibly, I'm going to play it as a had a starred.

So I was looking where everyone told me the ball went in, which was the face, and I happened to be standing on the flat. I got the wrong information. What I should have done was had everybody else go look for it, I guess, instead of me go in there.

But in order for pace of play and just trusting the people that were there, I went to look in the face for the ball and I guess as I'm stepping, I feel that it's not a ball -- it's not grass below me. So I step off, I peel it back; it's a ball, I assume it's the same thing as me. Just finding it in the hazard, since I had declared to Michael ahead of time, so I picked it up and played it as a hazard.

Then the rules official comes on the next hole, and asks me to explain what happened. So I do, but I was trying to do it in a nutshell as we were walking and didn't mention that I had told Michael what I told him ahead of time --

Q. Your intentions --
JORDAN SPIETH: My intentions, which was if I see it, I'm going play it and if I don't see it, I'm going to take my drop and play it as a water hazard.

Because I didn't give him my intentions, he went off the rule book, which was: The onus is on you if you think the ball actually moved and you need to add a stroke.

I said, you know, I'll go ahead and get a second opinion in the scorer's at the point because I wanted to explain everything out completely.

So the conclusion is it is a stroke penalty because my intention was to go in -- my intention was to go into the hazard to try to look for it and play the golf ball. Even though I declared -- it doesn't matter what I declare at that point, unless I say I'm going in to find my ball because I'm already going to play it as a hazard. Then if you step on it, it's no big deal.

But because my intention was possibly to still play it, it's a penalty and that was mid clear, no matter what I declared to Michael ahead of time. I just wanted to be certain about it.

Ideally, I would have liked it if the rules official that came up would have given me the option in the fairway to talk about it then or wait till after. I understand it's a tricky situation on a Friday afternoon when it might be their job to come up and tell me so I may, on 18, lay up versus going for it defending on how the six holes went. So it all was just a very fine line.

In the future, I would like to be presented the option because I would not have liked to have that conversation before I play that second shot. I would have liked to have said, don't worry about it, we'll talk about it after, instead of being told to incur a one-stroke penalty. Mentally, I was still saying, I think I'm fine, I only need to gain three strokes. But you know, I guess I need to make that clear to the rules officials, and it's tough, because everyone will be different there.

So I don't think that situation will come up again, and if it does, then it's just unlucky.

Q. How do you sum this up today?
JORDAN SPIETH: Billy Horschel won the FedExCup after missing the cut in the first event last year and I'm in a better position to win the FedExCup than he was at the time -- I'm pretty sure he did. That's what Michael said. So why can't I do it, you know?

Yeah, tough week. I'm definitely searching for answers. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do from here as far as how I get prepared for next week but I have some time to figure it out. We don't start till Friday.

Q. Thoughts on losing the No. 1 ranking? Do you even know that?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, yeah, plenty of people made me aware of it. Yeah, it is what it is, and hopefully I can just retain it when we're both playing in the same tournament.

I don't know how -- I guess my divisor becomes bigger and therefore I have less average points, but I like to play and I'll keep on playing. Rory is still coming back from an injury, so I think it makes sense that he took the week off from what I understand, just trying to get 100 percent healthy.

I've reached that peak already and I know it's going to be close enough to where if I just get the job done next week, I'll be back in that ranking. But again, that ranking, it's great once you reach it but it's not something that I'm going to live or die on each week.

It doesn't really make much of a difference. If you go on a three- or four-year cycle, Rory is No. 1 in the world. If you go just base off of this year, I am. They just use two years.

In my mind, it's just about trying to win the FedExCup at this point.

Q. Why not lay-up on 12?
JORDAN SPIETH: You know, I was sitting pretty good and I had a good club in my hand. I'm really good at hindsight thinking, so, yes, I should have laid up. (Laughter) Especially given I had just come off two birdies. I can chase it up there, because I have a good lie, to about a 40-yard pitch, about where I hit my next chip shot from, and half the time I'll make birdie from there.

So looking back, yeah, should have laid up. But I felt like the lie I had and the distance I had was a good number to go ahead and go for it, and I felt like that would give us the best chance for birdie. I struck it nicely. It flew about 20 yards short of where it normally does, so obviously the rough did affect it.

I think the wind was kind of swirling because I threw the grass up and it was coming into us and it should have been straight down. Maybe a tough break. But if I play the smart route and I make par or birdie there, very well could have been a very different story at the end.

Q. Three missed cuts this year. Which is the most irritating?
JORDAN SPIETH: This one, because it happened about an hour ago.

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