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February 11, 2017

Jordan Spieth

Pebble Beach, California

JOHN BUSH: Like to welcome our 54-hole leader at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Jordan Spieth, 7-under par 65 and he currently has a six shot lead. Jordan another incredible round out there, your second straight 65. If we can just get some comments.

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, we got off to a great start. Stuck it in there on 1. Played 2 nicely after the tee ball. Got a little away from me there on, let's see, kind of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 there. That stretch, I had to make a few nice key saves and then got a tough break on 8. Wind switched.

But went to 9 tee box, fine, I wasn't really upset. I just said, let's get, we got a couple more downwind holes, let's, I told Michael, let's try and get one or two before we turn back into the wind.

And then just hit some really solid shots on the next few holes and made a couple putts. So swing, I was fighting a hook a bit off the tee and fighting a hook in the iron play, which is easier for me than fighting a right ball. But rolled the ball beautifully on the greens. Made some nice clutch par saves in the midst of the birdie putts.

So, I couldn't have asked for a better putting day, with greens that are poa annua and have a lot of traffic because they have been so soft with this weather, it's very difficult even to make a putt from four feet, the percentages, it's another 10, 15 percent probably less than average. So I'm certainly grateful of that and recognize that going into tomorrow, that hitting putts with the right speed is key and not letting it get too far away from you and staying very patient when they do miss, because most certainly you're going to miss putts inside 10 feet out here. It's just about giving them the right opportunity to go in.

JOHN BUSH: Let's go to questions, please.

Q. 23 putts, is that even possible?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it's -- and I hit my lines today. There was a couple putts that went in that I thought maybe had a chance to miss. But other than that, I hit my lines and they rolled right there, which is a huge confidence boost for me. It's been something I've been struggling with was, is my putter this year, compared to, I guess, I would call standard for myself. And then striking the ball really well and it is my third, third and ninth place finishes were off of I think very average putting on strokes gained, so definitely made up for it today and hope to continue to tomorrow.

Q. How would you describe being in a zone the way you you've been the last few days as opposed to other zones that you've been in? Is this any different and what's it like playing with the great one?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, maybe a little bit different. It's lighter here. We have a great group. We're all feeding off each other. Everybody played well in our group. That will obviously change tomorrow.

But yeah, playing with the great one was a lot of fun. We have now played quite a few times and he's just, he's money out there, some of his comments. And he played awesome today, too. We were kind of playing a little match against each other and he got us on the last with his stroke. But he probably shot even on his own ball getting 10 shots today. That was kind of hard to beat.

But, yeah, great grouping. Jake's been awesome for me, real positive influence, and has been really respectful on where he's walking and when he's talking and whatnot and he knows what to do. We had a lot of fun out there.

Q. What was your most satisfying putt, would you say, of the ones that you made or even if it was a par save?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it was probably the par save on 12. I knew what the putt was doing, but it's one of those kind of left-to-right that you got to go outside the hole and you don't really want to, especially on poa annua. And I trusted the line and it went right in the dead center. And I knew that at that point that that stroke, what I was doing right there, was solidified. It was exactly what I wanted to do and it went in the middle, it was right after making a couple nice putts the holes before. So I was in a really good rhythm there. That was probably the most satisfied I was on a putt.

Q. How would you sort of describe the celebrity, or not the celebrity, the vibe here on Saturdays with celebrities? And you seem to thrive off it. You played well in this tournament even though you haven't won it before.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, Saturdays have actually been kind of a rough day for me around this track in this tournament historically. But it was so much fun out there today. We had some nice crowds the last couple days, but here it was unbelievable. We had big crowds, people yelling at, really, Jake and Wayne more than me and Dustin and that's awesome. It's really cool. They're so great with the fans, too, they're joking with them. And Saturdays out here, they're really fun. You hear a lot of laughs across the holes, you hear a lot of cheers. You never know who it is or what it's about, but it's just different. It's different from other tournaments.

Q. Tomorrow's going to be a different day from today as far as the whole course is concerned because it will dry out a little bit tonight. And how long does it take to read or can you just look at the course and see that there's going to be a difference and in how to hit the ball once it lands or rolls --
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, on this type of grass, it's still going to be very soft and spinny. Even on this course I was hitting low 9-irons or 8-irons and they were coming backwards a few feet. Normally those skip five yards forward. So it's very difficult to throw the ball with a lot of extra club and hit it low and land it back by the pin. It's difficult to do because we almost never have to do it. So, very rarely do we actually practice it or can trust it in a tournament setting. Holes like number 4 today, when you've got to hit an 85 yard shot and you got to hit a gap wedge and fly it 85 when it's normally just a perfect number for a 630 degree, it's just an abnormal thing for us to do and to get our brains wrapped around. That's going to stay that way. The course isn't going to change much tomorrow, in my opinion. It's just not getting hot enough, it's still too early. But, yeah, so it will be kind of dart throwing contest again and who can make the putts. And Sneds has won here I think twice and I think we're playing with him. He's going to be somebody who can very easily, I mean, I say very easily, but he's somebody who can go out there and shoot 7-, 8-under tomorrow. So, I've got to set a goal and stay real patient, try not to make many mistakes, hit a lot of greens in regulation.

Q. What would it mean for you to win this tournament not only for obviously, your obvious sponsorship connection with AT&T, but also just pushing your year forward into the later months?
JORDAN SPIETH: It would be great. Winning before Augusta is always a goal. Getting into a position to win and then being able to close it is a big confidence boost. In the last two years we have won going into Augusta and I feel like it helped me there. So that would be nice.

Obviously, it being here, first and foremost, would be really special. To be able to say that you won at Pebble Beach on these three magnificent golf courses would be special. Jake and I are going to be grinding as a team tomorrow. We want to win it as a team, too. But, yeah, it would be very special. It would be great, obviously, with AT&T. At this venue, it would be phenomenal.

Q. Apologies if you already answered this question earlier. What's the biggest challenge heading into Sunday when you do have a big lead like this on a course where you're going to make a lot of birdies?
JORDAN SPIETH: Not getting too frustrated. Again, recognizing these greens are very tough to putt and from inside 10 feet, there are going to be mistakes that are made. Not getting too frustrated. Staying really patient and staying focused on a goal. Telling myself, hey, I'm not sure what it's going to be, it might be 3-under, it might be 4-under tomorrow, but staying really focused on I'm challenging my goal, not looking at anybody else. That's the toughest part tomorrow.

Q. Curious about a couple things. On 6 on the par-5, what were your options, if you could call them that, from the bunker? And was there any, certainly not a panic on a Saturday, but having not taken advantage of some of those holes earlier to drop one there, would that have been a kick in the gut, what little you have?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I didn't have much, it went up into the left side in the lip of that bunker, are we had about 135 to get it up the hill, adjusted. I didn't have -- it wasn't going to be smart to take any angle towards the fairway. Just given if it didn't come out perfect, I couldn't clear it really with 9- or 8-iron, so I had to use a wedge. So if I didn't hit it perfect, it was going to rip back and probably go into the hazard there. So my options, which Michael was adamant about me punching out to the right just hitting it not, just a regular bunker shot out by where Wayne and Dustin's ball was. I couldn't really even clear much of the -- I couldn't clear the fairway bunkers and stop it at the end of the fairway there, it was just too hard of a shot. I would have -- if I hit it fat or thin it's either back in the bunker or it's in the hazard. So it would have just been an explosion bunker shot, just hit 20 yards out to the right which would have left me with probably a hybrid or 3-wood into the green. Or what I ended up doing was, I think I can clear this with a pitching wedge and go way left. It at least gets to where I can see the green. And from there, I can definitely hit the center of the green and make par. It was obviously I was thinking par. If I would have made 6 there, yeah, that would have been a bit of a dagger, given that hole's playing probably, I don't know, 4.5 or 4.7. And if you hit the fairway, it's likely a 4. So, I hit a really nice shot up there and then just picked the wrong club on the third. But out of the bunker it was the right play.

Q. Follow-up to the way you're swinging it. When did you feel like you got that dialed in? Seems like it's been that way in Hawaii as well, but was that a major goal in the off season and do you feel like this is the best you've consistently struck it since probably 2015?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think I would say Sony was the best that I've struck it. It was better than this, in my opinion. I had more control over the ball there than I do right now. I've got, I'm fighting a little bit of a hook off the tee. And with my iron play, it's just a little shut at the bottom, trying to figure out exactly why. But I played it today and I can play that and I've got no problem playing that. I'm not hitting it very far because of that, which is fine, too, as long as I'm in the fairways. But, yeah, it was an emphasis with Cameron was to get more around my body and be a little more patient throughout my swing, get a little more around my body in my back swing and it's led to a lot more solid ball striking rounds. And this week has been no different. I hit the ball the best I've ever hit it in heavy winds and rain on Thursday. Even straight into those winds I was trusting hitting driver, 4-iron, whatever it may be and they were going on a string, which was really nice. So I'll just kind of try and clean something up a little on the range before the round tomorrow, but I feel strongly about the way that I'm striking it, it's something that's been, I've hit the ball better this year than I probably did all of 2016.

Q. When you said at the start that you couldn't have asked for a better putting day, I'm curious, do you ever ask for many better putting days?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean I like to think every one I look at can go in, which I think is the way you should putt. Yeah, tomorrow I'll ask for a good putting day. So, I'll be hoping tonight, I'll be dreaming about a good putting day. But as far as the amount of putts and the putts that were made compared to the thought going into the putt, just thinking, hey, you know there was quite a few putts from like 10 feet, I was like, hey, Mike, I like this line, what do you think? I'm going to hit it with the right speed, if it goes in, great, if it misses, it's okay, it will be the right speed. Normally, we never say that. Here you say that. Because you don't want to have three feet out here. That's what I had a lot at the beginning of the round today and I lost some hair because of it, but knocked a few of them in.

Q. You got to come up with something different.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I know. But I think that kind of freed me up at the same time. I didn't think too much about the stroke, it was, hey, if I hit it a little off line, it might still go in. And I think that was a good way to think.

Q. Was there ever a concern at any point today that you might not finish the round, given sometimes the pace of play out here or did you figure that you were going to get it in no matter what?
JORDAN SPIETH: We were on 6 tee box and we asked a couple of the fans what time it was and found out it had taken us two hours to play the first five holes. At that point I thought maybe we wouldn't finish, if it stayed at that pace. But, historically, it's always very backed up on 5 and 6 and it took a while to play 2, 5, and 6. It is what it is. We're used to it here. It's tough. It's tough to get up on these holes and then, after waiting for that long, trying to stay in a rhythm. I think that's why I was able to stay in a rhythm as we got into the turn there, 9, 10, 11, we weren't waiting. You wait so much on those holes that, once you get past 7, it's pretty clear. That's useful. Especially when you're maybe a little bit off with the driver, which I was, I was hitting those kind of hooks and that definitely helped there. But, yeah, once we got on the back nine we figured we would just finish.

JOHN BUSH: All right, Jordan Spieth, best of luck tomorrow. Thank you, sir.

JORDAN SPIETH: Thank you. Appreciate it.

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