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June 17, 2016

Jordan Spieth

Oakmont, Pennsylvania

JORDAN SPIETH: It was tough starting and stopping and conditions changing from when we started to when we finished, but it is what it is. We deal with that here and there. Bit of a shame, because Oakmont is just, it was so great that those practice round days when it started to firm up.

Now, you know, it's still great, but it's a different golf course. Overall, I felt like I played well. I felt like I didn't quite get rewarded with my score for how I felt like I played. A couple tough breaks. It's a U.S. Open. Still in it.

Q. How is it going to change your game plan from the way you practiced?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's not that challenging. We understand when it's going to be softer. When you're the first shot out after a delay, after rain came down, you're always hesitant. I don't even think I was the first shot out. But maybe on my chip, the first chip I hit out of the first delay, I hit way too hard thinking it might come down softly.

But yeah, I mean, we know how to play in softer conditions and firmer, you know. Just changes how you attack back pins. Made the back pins actually much more challenging, I thought, after the delay. Those front nine back pins, hit a couple shots that I thought were perfect and all of a sudden they just ripped back.

Then I tried to get one scooted up there on 5 and it just, it took a firm hop and ended up plugging the back bunker. So it just, you know, I was just trying to find the middle ground. Didn't quite find it. Again, hit good shots, had a couple bad swings. But for the most part, I played like an even par round, which you'd take four of them here.

Just didn't quite get the couple shots that I thought I deserved, but, again, that's sometimes you gain a couple that you didn't deserve. So --

Q. (No microphone).
JORDAN SPIETH: Sure. I didn't shoot myself out of it. Ideally, I would have been where the leader is at 4 under. But I honestly don't think that was even possible for our tee time. I think that those that went off first off had it best out of our wave. We're going to find out what happens with the guys that are playing 36 today. I mean, if the sun comes out and the wind kicks up, it could play harder than ours.

So I'm not really sure how my score stands right now. But I know that at the end of the day, the USGA is going to try to have even par win the golf tournament, and I know that I can shoot 2 under in the remaining 54 holes no matter how the course plays. I know I'm capable of it. I'm in it.

Q. (No microphone).
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm just going off history.

Q. When do you play again?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think I'm going to play again in the morning.

Q. (No microphone).
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't mind it at all. You're talking guys that are playing 36 today and possibly us playing 36 tomorrow? I really don't mind that at all. You stay loose. You just stay in the same rhythm. Obviously, you hope you get in a good rhythm to start that you can kind of gain momentum off of.

But what's the mindset? It doesn't really change much. I mean, again, you're recognizing that you're getting 36 holes in a U.S. Open out of the way a little quicker, which could play to your advantage if you just keep your head down and recognize par's a good score and try to get in in par in those 36.

So not sure. I mean, it seemed like, you know, my score isn't going to hold up to the early part of these rounds. It seemed like everyone started off low. I was 1 under at one point and dropped three shots. It seems like as the day goes on, it just gets harder.

So we'll see what happens now. I think watching a little today on that second round, watching how scores fluctuate can maybe be advantageous for us if we have to do that same thing tomorrow.

Q. (No microphone).
JORDAN SPIETH: 17 was an odd scenario. I think if I hit that exact same shot five more times, it's a birdie look. I think I just got a tough break with the exact spot of where it landed. When I fixed the pitch mark, it's right where the slope goes an extra 0.3 percent, enough that can make that thing just skid just a little bit and rip back. I thought that was a good shot.

But, yeah, I mean, that certainly sums it up. I then got a really good break because where I was in that bunker, if I had hit the shot then, I would have had to hit a great shot just to get it on the green, even on the back of the green, and we got a delay and I got to go back out there. All that sand was matted down, and I could just place it on top of the sand on the firm base and I could spin it.

So I think, yeah, it was summed up kind of by that. It was summed up by I hit a pitching wedge today on number 4, par 5, I ended up three-putting when, in midair with that pitching wedge, I'm thinking I've got a tap-in birdie and all of a sudden I'm left with 35-plus feet where it goes up and then down right behind the hole, which is a really tough putt to trust to try and get there without overdoing it.

So it was my first putt of more than three, four feet of the day and you don't know how exactly the speeds are on the greens, and, you know, that's just a really tough spot to be in there, considering in midair I thought it was perfect downwind with a pitching wedge at a U.S. Open, and it's ripping back 30 feet. So summed up by those two pitching wedges, I think. I never spin it back with a wedge, with a pitching wedge.

Q. (No microphone). Before the delay, you seemed frustrated that they were going to blow the horn. Did you want to hit the bunker shot before the horn?
JORDAN SPIETH: I was frustrated on the second shot because as I was behind the ball, visualizing the shot, there was a crack of lightning and thunder that was not very far from us. And I kind of looked over and got the signal that we're still playing on. And then I hit the shot, and I got a really tough break.

So at the time, I was frustrated before I got up there that the horn wasn't blown because then he said, as I was on my way up there, hey, we're going to blow the horn. But the storm popped up out of nowhere so there was really nothing they could do on that second delay.

The first delay, obviously, we would have liked to have played on the safe side and let everyone warm up. That storm lasted longer than they thought too.

So personally, my opinion -- and, again, I'll stress in my opinion -- on the first delay, there was two options on a quick storm passing through. One, guys are already in shuttles. You can bring them in and it's going to take an extra 45 minutes for guys to warm up and get them back out. Or you can leave them out there, because you think it's going to pass in 30 minutes and you want that 45 minutes in pace of play.

In the first round, morning wave, with three days of sunshine coming, seemed like the safe play to make players happy and have everyone warm up, which is what we would have done on the PGA Tour. But, instead, the storm lasted longer. We weren't able to. There's a lot of frustrated players, including myself. But, you know, it is what it is.

Q. Jordan, of all the many challenges out there, and there are many, what is the most challenging?
JORDAN SPIETH: What is most challenging? In a U.S. Open, just staying fit mentally.

Q. Can you elaborate on that just a little bit more on that, expound on that?
JORDAN SPIETH: Stay patient. Recognize you can hit good shots sometimes that don't end up in places where you thought they would because courses are set up so much harder. You got to stay patient, recognize par's a good score. That's also something we're not used to. So, yeah, I mean you just have to really stay present, not get negative. I did a bit today. Michael was sure to knock me back into shape. I'll do a better job the next 54.

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