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February 10, 2016
Pebble Beach, California
JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome Jordan Spieth and Jake Owen to the interview room here at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He's making his fourth start at this tournament. Coming off of T-7 finish last year and tied for fourth two years ago. Jordan, first of all get you to comment on being back at Pebble Beach.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, excited to be back. This is a unique tournament, obviously, and it's a lot of fun for us, especially if we have kind of the right partners and parings. This, for me and Jake, this will be the third year in a row. We played together even that first year in different parings, and then we have had a great time the last couple years and had some success. We haven't gotten what we wanted to get out of this week. So that's what we're going to go for this year.
JOHN BUSH: Jake, comment on being back with Jordan and playing.
JAKE OWEN: Yeah, this is my favorite week of the year. I love coming out here. What I do is a pretty great thing, being able to travel around as much as I do and play music. But I always wanted to live the life of a PGA TOUR, so to get out here for a week and to get to hang with Jordan and joke around and have a good time, it's fun, it's competitive but there's a light-hearted side to it as well, so it's a lot of fun. I look forward to this every year.
JOHN BUSH: Before we open it up for questions, on Saturday, as many of you have heard, AT&T will be presenting 8,000 Jordan Spieth bobblehead dolls. Jordan, just comment on your bobblehead.
JORDAN SPIETH: I mean, I don't know how, but somehow I think it's even better looking than me. Definitely better looking than Jake. No, it's cool. It's a really cool -- we heard about, our team, heard about this awhile ago and there's been some pretty cool little kind of commercial spiffs around it, and I've been kind of re-tweeting them and they will continue to come. And I think it's awesome that I have this support from AT&T, obviously I knew I already did, but it's cool to see it in action.
(Showing another bobblehead.)
JORDAN SPIETH: Wow.
JAKE OWEN: I couldn't let you have is all the attention.
JORDAN SPIETH: That's amazing.
JAKE OWEN: You notice my head's little bigger than yours.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah. Shocker. Shocker.
JAKE OWEN: Shocker.
JOHN BUSH: With that we'll go into questions.
JORDAN SPIETH: That's awesome.
Q. Playing partners for the Pro-Am this week, duelling partners yesterday at Cypress down the road, just talk about how that match went and obviously, Jake --
JAKE OWEN: Yeah, let's talk about that. Let's talk about that match.
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, Jake was given nine shots, notice he's playing off a 2 this week. So he did good negotiating to start.
JAKE OWEN: I was 4-up after four holes.
JORDAN SPIETH: He was beating me from the same tees through six holes, I think. He was a couple under on his own ball, so. And then it came down to the last hole, and I had a putt to win from about 12 feet, and I missed it and Jake celebrated and that was about it.
JAKE OWEN: Heck, yeah. I mean, I kept reminding him yesterday, too, every time I was asking for shots, I'm like, you're the best in the world.
JORDAN SPIETH: Like I need to lose that label when I'm playing with Jake because he uses it every single time.
JAKE OWEN: He kept saying, you can say that every single time. I said, well, if I was the best in the world, I would want people saying that to me.
JORDAN SPIETH: It was fun. We played last year on the Tuesday, similar group, with Reuben Richards, who is a really nice guy, a member there, so we were trying to make it an annual thing. And we had a beautiful day yesterday at Cypress point. It was unreal.
JAKE OWEN: It was.
Q. How did it turn out last year? Did you lose again?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, I won last year.
JAKE OWEN: I don't know about that.
JORDAN SPIETH: Michael reminded me last night that I won.
JAKE OWEN: You did?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah.
JAKE OWEN: Okay.
Q. Good caddie?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah.
Q. How are you feeling physically and did the tournaments in Asia take a bigger toll on you than maybe you expected?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, I feel great. I feel very rested now. It's amazing what a solid week back here of kind of rest and regeneration will do.
My speeds are where they need to be, my rest is back, everything feels good. It was obviously a tough travel schedule to do when you're planning on -- you start kind of the season, and then you get back over here to do the rest of the season, when typically we make our trips overseas in the fall.
But I had a lot of fun. Two very easy places to travel to, great hospitality. A little tired in between the two events. And then since then, I've really regenerated and I feel a hundred percent.
Q. There was some tweeting and everything going on after Singapore, how you were gracious enough to go up to the winner and participate. I guess my question is, being as young as you are, how do you feel like you need to handle world No. 1? What's your responsibilities as a world No. 1?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's interesting, it's like when that label is said, when -- to be honest, I think of if you're in the top-5, 10, it's kind of a similar, you have a similar impact around other people and players.
But for whatever reason actually having your name at the top of the ranking at that given time just adds more to it. I'm starting to see that. Obviously, when it first happened after the PGA Championship it was impactful. But at the same time, now, having kind of held that for the last few months, given there hasn't been a lot of tournament golf being played, as far as my responsibility with it, I don't think it changes from anything that I've already done. I think that there's just more of an interest in just kind of being nice to people, smile.
When I went to take a picture -- I was going in because I was required to do media after the round, and he was in there doing the media right before me, so I just said congratulations. He won, I lost. I did what I could that day, I was perfect, I made my only shot that I had a chance to hit that day, which was a six foot putt. So I was in a good mood even though he closed it out behind me.
So, stuff like that, it's -- I don't think that I have to go out of my way to change how I am or what I'm doing. I think the label shouldn't change who you are, good or bad, just go up and congratulate someone who wins and then work harder to not finish second and maybe have a caddie that can help close the deal.
Q. I think that you and your dad went to Augusta in December; is that right?
JORDAN SPIETH: That's right. And Jay, my previous caddie/manager.
Q. I was there in the winter, it's so different, isn't it? No signs, no markers or anything. What did you think of it? How did you play? And did it get you sort of hyped up for April?
JORDAN SPIETH: We actually had it -- I think that tee to green it plays quite a bit harder in December than it does during the tournament. Obviously, with the pin placements and the way the greens are and the tight mowed grass around them, it's much more challenging during the tournament.
But we actually had it at 75 degrees. It was just beautiful there. So, the ball was actually flying further than it normally does that time of year. I've played it when it's been 40 degrees and you can't -- you hit 4-iron to No. 1. In the tournament you hit 8-iron.
So, two things were so unique about going back for the first time since winning, that really stood out. There was a lot of things that stuck with me beyond the grounds.
But the two main things were one, going into the clubhouse and seeing the actual Masters trophy. And there's actually a lot of people who don't realize there's a Masters trophy and it's huge and it sits in the center of the room when you walk in the main clubhouse area there. And they have the winners and they have the runner ups on the trophy. So I was able for the past year and a half or whatever before winning, my name was on that trophy from finishing runner-up. And I guess, or I guess a year.
And this year I was able to go back, pick out where it was where my name was on the runner-up, and then look one spot down and diagonal and there's your name for winning it with the score. And that was really cool.
Then to even top that, walking up to the Champion's Locker Room, the new Champion's Locker Room, and to -- I was always interested on who I was sharing my locker with, and I had not heard, and I walked up and saw my name with Mr. Palmer, which was pretty awesome.
Q. Was your dad able to go in the champion's locker room?
JORDAN SPIETH: Oh, yeah, we had dinner there a couple nights and were able to kind of walk around. They have, in that champion's locker room, they have kind of a here's what happened last year type thing with the club and a jacket, and it's pretty cool with the names that are in there and the names that will be there that week and there's the memories that I had from last year. And it's something I would like to continue to have in there. So we'll work hard to get back and it certainly was motivating, too, as satisfying as it was, it was definitely motivating.
Q. You talked about Tiger as an inspiration. I'm wondering from when you were a kid, was there one particular tournament or moment that really cemented for you that he was doing some special things?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it was the 2005 Masters. The chip in on 16. That's the greatest clutch shot chip. As many as he's had, that was one that I've watched over and over and over again on YouTube on just how incredible it was. It was when there was rough there. It was just backed up against the collar of the rough. And I had that similar chip last year and didn't even get close to making it. In fact, I kind of flubbed it, but I made the putt which was nice, on Sunday.
But that shot, I mean everyone in here knows about that shot. That was really cemented it. I was probably 11 or 12 at that time, just starting to really pick golf as my No. 1 sport and fall in love with it. And we were talking the other day and that shot, what it did for me was it made me want to go out that day, that evening, and go work on my short game. It was like, you know what, I want to go try and hit that shot right now. And I thought that was really cool.
Q. What did it mean to you personally, but also professionally, when you dropped that 63 on Tiger at Torrey Pines back in 2014?
JORDAN SPIETH: It wasn't like a, wow, I'm better than you moment by any means. It was just a round.
(Laughter.) It was Thursday, I think, and Thursday or Friday, I don't know. I was on the North Course and at that point, I'm not playing against Tiger, I'm playing against the field trying to win that tournament, put myself in the best position. It is certainly cool when you're playing alongside someone you've idolized growing up and you can -- it adds a bit of nerves. Everyone who plays with Tiger the first few times and even so on, has that little extra chatter around it, obviously, with the crowds and just watching him swing that we have watched for so long. So it was a really cool round. I remember it.
I remember the first hole. I made about a 15, 18 foot left-to-right slider on number 10 for birdie to start the day. That kind of felt good with the putter the whole day. But, no, it wasn't -- there wasn't any impact on me versus Tiger there. That was just me versus the Farmers Insurance Open.
Q. Was there any banter that you remember from that day?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, I don't think so. We always have fun when we play together. I enjoy the rounds. He has a good sense of humor on the course. Yeah, looking forward to him being back to full strength and full health.
Q. You talked about the responsibilities --
JORDAN SPIETH: All these questions are for me.
JAKE OWEN: I know.
Q. Actually, I have one for each of you. You talked about the responsibilities of being No. 1 in the world. Any examples of the past 12 months that maybe reflect your how your rise in the golf world? Do you think about a year ago, things that obviously have changed a lot with the two Majors and everything else. You mentioned maybe Arnold Palmer and the champion's locker room, something like that that sort of illustrates how things have changed?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, that was special for it being the Masters win. But as far as No. 1 ranking goes, I think just staying up near the top, you're just recognized and you tweet, there's a good chance it can end up on ESPN and it's just like, you know that kind of stuff that wouldn't have happened before. You got to, I mean, as much as you got to watch yourself, it's still an advantage. I'm able to meet new people that I would never have the chance to meet.
The other day I met Dirk Nowitzki for the first time. I grew up living half a mile from him, and he was my sports hero growing up in Dallas. I had never met the guy. And so the other day, what was it, a few weeks ago I got the opportunity to go down after the Mavs game and hang out with the players and take a picture with Dirk. And I thought that was pretty awesome. I think that that was maybe a -- I wouldn't say, that's probably an advantage to the position we're in, but with it becomes responsibilities for sure.
Q. Follow-up, Jake, when you're out with him on the course, do you see any examples of that? Any difference in how the public reacts to him now than maybe a couple years ago?
JAKE OWEN: Obviously, I think it's obvious as he's grown the difference in crowds and things. As Jordan said previously, going back four years ago, when we first got paired together, I was here, it was my first year and Jordan's first year, I think. I was playing with Kelly Kraft and Jordan was paired with Tony Romo.
And I remember leaving that week, after we played and thinking, after watching Jordan play, that this guy's going to be good, really good. And over the last few years it's been really cool to watch him and his success that he's had, and I think going along with your question about his responsibility as world No. 1, quickly to say and not tout him sitting next to him, but I think that what I really enjoy about him the most and admire about Jordan is that for what he's done, and what's continuing to do. You haven't changed in the last four years that I've known you as far as your graciousness to people around you and the way you handle yourself. And for someone like myself that's in a business that's all about taking care of people and doing the right thing in order to grow my business, it's something to model your career and after. I really admire him for that.
JORDAN SPIETH: This is awkward.
JAKE OWEN: This is awkward.
Q. What don't you like about Jordan?
JAKE OWEN: Oh, okay.
JORDAN SPIETH: We can't talk about that in here.
JAKE OWEN: We have had some interesting -- we have fun. I think that's the greatest thing about Jordan is that he is as competitive as he is and what you see on the course is as much fun as he enjoys having.
And we have had some interesting little simple wagers on things over the last few years. He was very gracious to come and play my little charity event down in my little hometown of Vero Beach, Florida. It was such a great event for our community, the people that got to come out and watch. And we had a really good time that week.
JORDAN SPIETH: Tell them about the plaque.
JAKE OWEN: I will. Of course you would mention that. So Jordan and have I this consistent thing. No matter where we are on the golf course where we're playing, there's always -- the shot always has odds. Like give me odds. And of course, as you all have seen many times, these shots that for some reason or another he makes or does, Colt Knost and I yesterday were saying that when he talks to the ball, the ball listens to him. And so --
JORDAN SPIETH: It's a Titleist.
JAKE OWEN: It's a Titleist.
Yeah, and Colt said yesterday he was watching, I forget what tournament it was, maybe in Singapore, you hit a drive and you're like, "just give me a normal bounce" and it just hits the edge of the bunker and goes right in the middle of the fairway, and he's like that's a normal bounce?
So you're in the middle of the fairway, three holes in, as you probably saw, as you said, going along with what you said about tweeting or whatnot, Jordan looked at me on first tee box when we got there -- and you hadn't even, I don't think we hit a few balls. And he looks at me out of the corner of his eye and he says, "you want me to Happy Gilmore this off the tee?" And I'm like no, no, there's -- no, no, it's tons of people lining -- and with that, before I could get it out of my mouth, he runs on the tee box and Happy Gilmore's it down the fairway, which was, by the way it was good for my Twitter feed, because it was reposted many thousands of times.
But a couple holes later, we're in the middle of the fairway, he's 98 yards out, there's about a hundred people behind us in the fairway, it was kind of really cool and reminiscent of those old Shell's Wonderful World Of Golf where people would follow you in the fairway because there weren't ropes or anything. There was about a thousand people behind the green watching, because you know the world's No. 1 is in the small town of Vero. And he looks at me in front of my dad or whatever and says, all right, what are the odds? I'm going to make this. I'm like, you're like 98 yards out in the middle of the fairway and he -- without missing it, he just steps up, hits the shot in the air. He's like, "pay up." And I'm sitting there watching it, this is no, no lie, I'm sitting there watching it, it hits three feet behind the pin, with all these people watching, spins back and goes in the hole. And he looks at me and I'm like, this doesn't happen with normal people. It doesn't happen. So, they're making a plaque. They're putting it there.
Q. What were the odds?
JAKE OWEN: I think it was just a --
JORDAN SPIETH: Undisclosed amount.
JAKE OWEN: It was undisclosed. It's like the match.
Q. What was odds what about the odds?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's undisclosed.
JAKE OWEN: It's undisclosed.
JORDAN SPIETH: No -- it was -- no. It wasn't two to one. It takes a lot more than two to make one. And it's funny enough, if you call enough of them, once in a while they're going to go in.
Q. Jake talked about having fun here. It seems like you embrace this week from going to the Tap Room to playing Cypress. How much fun are you having at this event? And is it important for you to continue having fun as opposed to looking at it as a job?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, where I go to dinner is personal, and I appreciate you voicing that to everyone.
But, no, this week, I mean it really is, it's so unique and it's so much fun. I say that, obviously, because of the parings that I've had now the last four years. I mean, how can you not have fun?
But as we're out there, I mean Jake will tell you, he's seen me at the happiest and some of the most -- we talked about a couple years ago I was tied for the lead with Jimmy Walker and 3-putted Pebble seven times on Saturday.
JAKE OWEN: Yeah, that was a fun round.
JORDAN SPIETH: So as much fun as we're having in between shots, I mean, I'm here to win this golf tournament. And if we can win it together, even better. That would be the ultimate for the week. But I would rather take a win and us get second than us win and me get second. So.
JAKE OWEN: Yeah. I don't blame you.
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm here grinding this week. This is an important event on courses that are three of my favorite courses in the world, they're so awesome. You guys love coming here for the views, for the courses, for the atmosphere, for the fact that you can -- even if the rounds are a bit longer because you have foursomes, you're still having more fun. You're getting to kind of in a way, feel like you're playing a team event while still kind of grinding yourself. It's hard to explain. Maybe it's just these courses bring out the smiles in everybody. But we have them and it's -- we're going to grind this week, but we're also going to play with the great one, we're going to play with D.J., I like playing with D.J. a lot, and we had this pairing last year, so we'll try and all feed off each other.
Q. Over the last couple years betting undisclosed amounts on a range basket?
JORDAN SPIETH: You'll start calling me Phil. Easy with that.
Q. How long have you been doing that and why do you do it? What thrill do you get out of little silly bets like that?
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't know, it just is kind of a way to kind of smile and say told you so.
JAKE OWEN: The story.
JORDAN SPIETH: I've been doing it for --
JAKE OWEN: It's a story, too.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it's a story. I've been doing it going back to like grade school with friends. I think that everyone kind of does it on the golf course. Everyone I play with. We just kind of mess around like, especially with Greller, but also with other players. It's just, hey, whatever, hole-in-one here, you owe this. It's just kind of like walk around and smile for the most part. It's probably not going to happen, but when it does you get a good story out of it.
Q. Was Vero the best one?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, that's certainly up there. Yeah, that was cool. The crowds were going nuts there. It was pretty big, they were right behind you, like he said, and it was pretty loud.
Q. Down in the Bahamas, I think Fergie asked you, what Major did you want to win next. And you said the Masters. And we said, what about The Open and PGA Championship. What is it about the Masters that elevates it over the other Majors?
JORDAN SPIETH: It was the next one. It was the next one coming up. But, no, I believe it's the best tournament in the world. No disrespect to any other event, but I absolutely love that golf course, it is my favorite golf course in the world, it's just an easy week. The roars, the echos, the memories, the history from watching it growing up, being on the same golf course. It's just, you know, you have these different images from growing up watching that you may have on certain golf courses of other Majors, but to have them all on that course, it just adds to the history of the tournament, and you want to be a part of it.
Q. Aside from you, who does your bobblehead look like?
JORDAN SPIETH: I've heard of a lot of different ones. I heard -- I saw a picture and heard of Gary Koch. I thought that was kind of decent. I don't know. I heard, I heard someone told me you in 30 years? But, yeah, it's pretty good representation, I think.
Q. Jake, I'm curious, how do you balance being Jordan's partner while also making sure not to step on his toes when he's competing against the other pros?
JAKE OWEN: That's actually a really good question, because as I mentioned earlier, as a kid growing up I played a lot of golf. This would have been a dream of mine to play out here with these guys.
So for this week, for me, it's almost like I get to feel like I'm hitting balls next to all these guys on the range, and there's guys walking around handing you clubs to try out, things like that. And I just remember thinking as a kid how I would have given anything for that sort of opportunity.
So now to be here and do it, like Jordan mentioned earlier, he's here this week to win for himself and this tournament. It would be great if we could do it.
But I'm just kind of in the shadows standing back. I learn a lot from watching like his and Dustin's just the way their tempo, their routines, and I think I stay out of the way enough.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah.
JAKE OWEN: But I hold my own though. I hold my own out there.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, he knows what he's doing. And within our group, we have no problems worrying -- neither one of us have to worry about anything happening that would affect the way we play and that kind of frees us up to have a bit more fun.
Jake's a really good player, and he'll tear up these par-5s out here which will be a lot of fun. So, he grinds, he grinds over those 4-footers, he knows I want him to make them as bad as he does. And it kind of adds a little to it, makes you a little happier when they go in.
Q. Seems like you appreciate the history of the game. And this tournament, obviously, has a deep history with the -- as the Crosby and it was very prestigious. And then it went through a stretch where not many top players came. Why do you think it's kind of become relevant again? And how important is it to the TOUR, given the unique format, that this tournament does sort of thrive going forward?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think a lot of it has to do with the different celebrities that come back and how they speak about it. I think that has a significant impact, honestly, on us as PGA TOUR players. This was a tournament where I received an exemption four years ago when I didn't have any status anywhere. It was my second professional start. And it's really close to my heart. So you don't have to convince me about this place.
But as far as grabbing deeper fields, I think a lot of it has to do with guys like Jake, guys like these other incredible celebrities, musicians, sports stars, actors, guys that come here can attract, oh, you know what, maybe this is going to be a lot of fun versus longer rounds and a different feel playing with Amateur partners when it happens a couple other times on the PGA TOUR. So, I think that the celebrities actually have kind of helped build this tournament.
JOHN BUSH: Jason, do you have a question?
JASON DAY: Yeah, I have a question. Yeah, how you doing, by the way? I just want to know how your shoulders are going to feel because they're going to be pretty light, because Jake's going to be carrying you the whole week. I just want to know how the state of your game is compared to Jake's.
JORDAN SPIETH: Jake beat me at Cypress yesterday. So, it's a little weak. And I hope he carries me, because I'm going to play -- I'm going to play really good, so if he's carrying me, he's playing really good.
JASON DAY: Okay, that's good.
JORDAN SPIETH: Jason, it would be an honor for to us play with you on Sunday. It would be an honor.
JASON DAY: Let's try to plan on that.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Alex, last question.
Q. You talked about Augusta and your love of it and the course and the history of the tournament. It's 30 years this year for Jack and most of us that are older kind of remember '86 pretty much. I'm wondering if you, obviously you weren't around, but have you spent much time going over that, looking at video or anything like, and know anything about what happened with Jack in 1986?
JORDAN SPIETH: I know I've certainly seen the videos of the putt. But I don't -- I don't know a ton about it. This was when he was 46.
JORDAN SPIETH: 46. Which is a feat that I think is going to be very challenging. Phil, last year, showed that it's still possible. I think that it's going to be a pretty special week for Jack. I think that there's going to be a lot of emphasis around the 30-year anniversary and that tournament. I know that it seems like each year he's going to have something special to relive considering he won so many times.
But he's offered some great advice to me at Augusta National. He did it in 2014 spending just a moment speaking with him. It stuck with me. It's kind of helped me in my mentality that week, the two years I've played. But man, one of the all time greats and a legend of the game. It's always fun to relive his memories.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Well Jordan, Jake, we appreciate your time. Best of luck this week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports