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April 27, 2017

Jordan Spieth

Ryan Palmer

Avondale, Louisiana

Q. Jordan, yesterday you talked about prioritizing your short game. Great putt on 18. What was the key to your short game today?
JORDAN SPIETH: Just some extra work. I put in some more chipping work than I have other weeks in the past couple days, and felt like I kind of got a good feel for how the ball was going to come off this Bermudagrass, and then on the green it's about obviously judging the slopes and how they counteract. The TOUR does a great job of putting pins in pretty confusing places, and we read them great today. I didn't putt much, honestly, today. Ryan hit most of the putts, and he did a great job of it.

Q. And then on 14, we saw you hole it out for birdie; how did that help ignite the final five holes for you guys?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, we were in a little bit of a lull there. I kind of sprayed one out on 12 and we had to make par saves there and 13, and obviously stealing one there when we really should have been over par on those three holes and instead being under par -- we knew we were going to have a couple birdie holes coming in with a wedge on 16 and obviously a par-5, so we figured we could keep moving up the board. It was definitely nice for it to go in. It was a nice little bonus.

Q. Ryan, we had a chance to eavesdrop on you guys a little bit, really heard you guys talking, strategizing. How much did that teamwork help you out there today?
RYAN PALMER: Well, it was good. He really wanted to know where I wanted the ball on the third shot, and I wanted to keep it around 100 yards, and he gave me 105. He gave me a good look at it. It's great watching his short game. It's one of the best in the world, if not the. And plus when the putter is rolling, it makes it not as hard to make those five-footers. We both had our fair share, and we poured them in.

Q. You go from alternate-shot to best ball tomorrow. How does that change the strategy for you guys?
RYAN PALMER: It doesn't. We'll still play our game. They'll play their game, we'll play ours. We may get a little more aggressive at times with the driver and go for a few other shots we may not if we were just playing a normal tournament. We'll get to each other and decide what we're going to do as far as strategy-wise, but we've got a lot of momentum going into tomorrow the way we're putting, and we're up for a good day.

Q. With weather expected over the next three days, how important was scoring well today knowing that the next three days could be a little bit unpredictable?
JORDAN SPIETH: It was huge. You've got to put yourself in a position. Looks like we might get a good end of the draw. It looks like wind might pick up tomorrow afternoon. You never know. But alternate-shot format with these conditions, anything 3-under or so was a solid score. Grab a few extra and be in obviously pole position, it's fantastic. We're just going to try and have as much fun as we had today. We really did. We were laughing a lot. Great pairing with Bud and Justin, too, so we'll get out there tomorrow and try to get as many putts as we can at it in the wind.

Q. You just whipped around here 66 without any bogeys. The course is supposed to be difficult.
RYAN PALMER: Yeah, we were lucky enough with the weather. It was pretty calm all day. A little breeze here and there but not much to deal with. But we putted it great. We both made a couple 10-footers when we had to for par and had some tricky four- or five-footers, as well, but his short game, the way -- the chip-in, and gave me a few chances to save our par, we were able to do that, and we both drove the ball pretty well today, and gave ourselves a lot of chances.

Q. Jordan, at 11, talk about this.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, this wasn't the best spot. We kind of talked about short right was the only spot not to miss it, and I just had to give it enough speed into the slope and just try and get it on the green. Obviously it was a bonus for it to be perfect to leave a putt. At that point we were playing for par, got a nice little -- kind of stole one out of that chip.

Q. What kind of pressure do you feel when he's hit a shot of that quality to then make the putt?
RYAN PALMER: Yeah, that's kind of what's hard about this format is you kind of rely on your partner to bail you out when you hit a shot like that, and then he hits a great chip, and you're like, now I've got to make the putt.

Q. You gave him another chance to show off at 14.
JORDAN SPIETH: Ryan hit the ball phenomenally today. These were the only two missed shots of the day. I had a pretty straightforward pitch here, had to be aggressive into the grain. Rolled out with nice pace. It was actually a bonus for it to drop, and then pretty fun to be able to celebrate that shot with three guys instead of normally just with your caddie. To play the par-3s under par in alternate-shot on this golf course was tremendous. I mean, we were looking at even par being a great score on the par-3s. So to play them under par, we figured if that were the case, we could shoot a low score, and that's what happened.

Q. Ryan, I'll ask you to describe the putt on the 18th. What's it like to play with a guy that holed so many 20-, 25- footers?
RYAN PALMER: It's great. I didn't hit the best wedge shot from 105, but fairly uphill, left to right putt, and it rolled in. That was a great bonus. Missed that tee shot the way I did, normally we would have got there in two, I think, but I hit such a poor tee shot. Bailed ourselves out a little bit and got away with it.

Q. You took advantage of the par-5s, played really well. You have to be really proud with your start.
RYAN PALMER: No doubt. That was our key. We took care of the par-5s and kind of stole a couple on the par-4s and talked about playing the par-3s even par, and we were able to sneak away with playing them under par with his great short game. We made some key putts to keep rounds going, and we knew we got a great round out today.

Q. People say sometimes it's best to have someone that matches your game and sometimes it's good to have someone that complements it.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, absolutely. It was nice -- the short game was letting me down just a bit to start this year compared to where I kind of hold myself accountable. But Ryan really got us started. He didn't miss a shot. I think he missed two all day, and he didn't miss a shot for the first 10 holes. I was playing out of spots that I can't hit it, I'm not capable of it, and it was really nice to get that to start. Obviously on the second hole he drives one 355 down the middle, I can hit a 6-iron onto the par-5 green, leads to a nice under-par start for us. Ryan really got us going, which was great, because these first rounds have been a bit of a downfall for me this year thus far, and we were able to kind of ride that momentum into the back nine. We were trying to kind of play an even par round and play the par-5s as par-4s, you know, get ourselves around the green, get them up-and-down, make four birdies on those holes, play the rest even. Obviously the chip-in was a steal and we got another wedge birdie on the par-3. But it was great. The conditions are going to get tougher. 6-under in alternate-shot probably isn't around on Saturday, so we're going to have to reset expectations. But tomorrow, the way Ryan has been playing recently and kind of the way I'm starting to find things, we'll go out very confident to stay on top.

Q. I heard you guys have plans for tonight; is that true?
RYAN PALMER: Yeah, we're going to head over and help the team in the war room in the Saints' facility get their first pick in there, so we're going to hang out at the facility with Coach Payton and their crew and watch the draft with them.

Q. Jordan, are you going offense or defense?
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm going Dallas Cowboys, but it was fun, it was great of Coach to offer. Ryan is close with Coach Payton, and it'll be really cool just kind of sitting in the back and watching that process take shape. I've always wondered what it's like.

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