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January 8, 2016

Jordan Spieth

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome Jordan Spieth to the interview room here at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Bogey-free through 36 holes with a second round 9-under par 64. Jordan, excellent playing out there. Just get some comments on your day.

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, very similar day to yesterday. Just need to get two more to go. Just maybe the chip shot and then one more in that back nine there. I was really happy with the way that given we knew we were in the lead, played 13 in. 13 I very easily could have hit iron there knowing I was in the lead and you can still hit a 9-iron into that green.

But we took out driver there, got me 90 yards down breeze. Absolutely perfect for just a nice little punch lob wedge. And then hit driver on the next hole. That's just kind of our nature.

I felt comfortable enough hitting my driver. I don't feel a hundred percent Major Championship form necessarily, but I'm feeling like I'm keeping it -- I've got good start lines on it, enough to where I felt like I could pull those drives off and it led to two birdies and possibly at least a stroke and a half, I think on those two holes. So I'm really happy with the way we have been picking apart this golf course and still staying aggressive.

JOHN BUSH: Questions?

Q. Good spot on 16, too. That was a nice spot there?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, 16. That's exactly what I've been working a lot on is those -- taking a little extra club and trying to punch wedges in there, getting the right distance control down. That's where my biggest room for improvement was in the off season, we found. And I've actually hit a lot of really good wedges this week and that one just wasn't one of them. Just tugged it. I was trying to do too much instead of just hitting this little punch, punch draw, the straight ball I've been hitting. I was trying to bleed a 52 in. I don't really know why I wanted to do it, I just tried to do it and I double crossed it.

Q. I like how you go straight to the negative here. Curious, you kept a clean card. What's been the most stress you've had over the course?
JORDAN SPIETH: 16 and 17. 16 was more stressful than 17 today. Just given I had 105 yards in the middle of the fairway to a pin in the dead center of the green where everything falls towards it. You could give me a bucket of balls and I couldn't hit one outside of where I hit that wedge. You get anyone here -- no one's going to hit a shot further away than I hit that shot. No one. Not even you.

And my point is, it's such an easy shot to have to make a seven-footer uphill outside the hole breaker, that means that I did something wrong on that second and third.

The greens this week, the greens today, especially, are the slowest that I've ever putted on in a PGA TOUR event. And having said that, the hardest part is you just say, okay, why don't you just hit them harder. Well, we have all played this golf course where when you're putting it towards the back of the green, towards the ocean, it just shoots away from you. You're just waiting for one of those. And I didn't have any of them, so 16 I finally get aggressive on and it shoots away from you.

To save there and 17, those two putts going in probably allowed the one on 18 to go in. That and the nice little cut out lip on the right side of the hole. But that was -- there's a chance that was three strokes to go from leading by one to by four. And that's huge.

Q. Ernie shot 31-under here back in 2003. Is that at all in play? Is that possible this weekend?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, sure -- well for 16 through 2, I guess we're capable of doing 32, right? Carry the one, yeah, that's right.


I don't know. I don't know what the forecast calls for. If it's similar, then I guess it's possible. But that's asking a lot. That's asking -- I was wondering if anyone's gotten to 30-under in a TOUR event before. That's pretty low.

So, I mean it would be a great goal to try and achieve and I think if I got there, it would make for a stress-free finish. Very likely.

Q. Two different things here. One, is there any part of you that's at all surprised that you're in this position. And then secondly, you've been in first or second after every round you've played on this course. What do you attribute that to?
JORDAN SPIETH: Definitely a smaller field helps chances of being in the lead are better. Am I surprised? We have decent weather. I took off some time, we had decent weather in Dallas before coming here, so I was able to get some work in up until the last few days.

I've played a lot of golf on this golf course. I played five rounds prior to even the tournament week starting. No, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, yeah, Tuesday, Wednesday, so six rounds on this golf course before the tournament started.

I saw some -- I started to feel comfortable, a little more comfortable each day. Did I see 16-under? Maybe not to start the season, no. So how am I there? On this course? Or how do we continue to play well on this course? I feel like very limited mistakes.

But I'm putting myself in great positions on the easier holes.

Par-5s I'm playing extremely well.

And the short par-4s playing extremely well.

Having 16, 17 of this round being the closest to making a bogey and still being able to knock those putts in, kind of with ease, it's nice. I feel comfortable on any course with Bermuda, more so than I feel anywhere else. So that has to do with it, too.

Q. You said in your pre-tournament press conference that you wanted to improve on your wedge game from last year. But even that's what the stat said, but they don't have the Majors and so how would you grade your wedge play this week, so far?
JORDAN SPIETH: A little improved. I haven't worked much on it at all, honestly. That's what I need to work on throughout this season. I put a bit of emphasis leading up into this week and we did quite a bit of work. We did what I would call a couple good sessions from getting here to the time we played on Thursday. Probably like to have three, three or four really, really good wedge sessions in an entire tournament week Monday to Sunday. Through the first six, seven events, to really start to see more of a difference. But it's been improved. I felt more comfortable. I really do think it is -- my proximity has been a bit better, minus a couple shots. Yeah, it's good.

Q. You said something along the lines of not 100 percent Major Championship form yet. I take it that may mean more towards the tests that have you in front of you, because it's not quite a Major Championship test. There are some places you can miss, a lot of room out there, that kind of thing --

Q. More than I guess, it's the necessity of having to be in Major Championship form?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah. I haven't hit my targets to the extent that I would like to see at the highest level of my game. But you can get away with that here, yeah. It doesn't necessarily mean I would be any lower in score, just because the golf course is what it is.

But as far as my comfort level with seeing a target and hitting a target, I'm very -- I don't know if I could have scored much better these first couple days. In order to continue to score this way I will still have to narrow this gap slightly, but I am extremely pleased with where it's at to start the season. I wouldn't expect it to be -- it's, it needs more repetitions as -- and that's with a what it will -- it will come.

Q. You hit a shot you want 280 or 290 or 300 yards. Are you a switch on, switch off kind of guy? Or when you're playing a hole, are you in it the entire hole?
JORDAN SPIETH: Typically in it the entire hole. I'm not hit the shot, okay, everything behind me is done. What do I have next?

I'm more get on a tee box. I need to hit this to here to have the best angle to here to -- I know when I strike it, my tee shot, I know about what I'm going to have into the green and where the pin is. And on that walk up there I'm thinking that's what I have. I get up there, if I can walk up to the green and see it, if not, assess what club it is, where the next putt's going to be from. Yeah I would say, as I'm walking I'm still in each hole in my head even if I am talking about something completely different.

Q. What's your switch off time over five hours?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I guess in car rides or cart rides. When you have a little more of a break. Typically from the green to the next tee the switch goes off a little bit or I sometimes have to adjust based on how things are feeling, do I need to adjust something in my swing on that next tee, then it kind of continues. But I'm not really sure, I don't think much about it, it just, I go out and each hole has a bit of a plan as we get going.

Q. I don't know how to put this, but your approach or your ability to deal with the situation in like now after leading after 36 holes, has it changed or have you evolved from when you started on the PGA TOUR dealing with this situation going into the last 36 holes?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think so. I definitely think so on a course like this. What I mean is, in the past, we started the round today in the last group and there's just so many birdies to be had that by the time we're on No. 2 or 3, after making two pars, we're not in the lead anymore. The John Deere did a lot for me this past year. Because it's a golf course where I started the final round in the lead by two, but by the time I tee off and get going, I'm not in the lead anymore. And a year ago, a year ago this time, two years ago, and further back, I would take that as trying to, I need to press. And just having been in the position enough times, even though it's not many, I still recognize that. It's enough to where I've learned how much golf is still in front of me and it's rounds like today that give me the reason or give me how I can tell you that. So rounds like today where we start the round, they already take the lead, I'm looking at the board thinking, wow, everyone's tearing it up, through 3, 4-under through six or seven holes. Brooks was maybe 3-under through five. I sat back and said, okay, what can we do from this? I just haven't gotten a putt to the hole, I missed a short one on 4, I birdied 5. And there was just a patience level that said, we have got enough holes left, 6 is a wedge, 9's a par-5, 10's a wedge, 11 could be a wedge, 12. And we have so many of these holes. Then you get to 14, 15, 18, there's so many holes out here that if you just play them the right way you're going to have a short range for birdie, that I feel that I have that extra level of patience. Does that answer it at all?

Q. Yeah. Do you have any experience playing with Kiz? Do you know much about him?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, Kiz is a lot of fun. Kiz is a lot of fun. I've been around him quite a bit towards the end of last year. I was really pumped to see him get that win in Sea Island. It was Sea Island? Yeah, because he was right in it in Mexico and lost in a playoff, right?

Q. Shanghai.
JORDAN SPIETH: Shanghai. Okay. But, yeah, he was obviously knocking on the door with four or five second places before in a four or five month stretch. He's fun. He's going to give me crap. Which is what he has always done. I run into Kiz most of the time in the workout trailer. He's in there all the time. And he brings out the good conversations that are had in there.

JOHN BUSH: Jordan, we appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.

JORDAN SPIETH: Thanks, guys.

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