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June 22, 2017

Jordan Spieth

Cromwell, Connecticut

Q. Talk about today, your first competitive round here at TPC River Highlands, and it was a really good one.
JORDAN SPIETH: It was. I got off to a beautiful start on 1 and 2, knocking a putt in and hitting it really tight there. Felt good. Felt like a golf course we could take advantage of. Just tried to keep the ball in the fairway, and from there, you have short enough clubs into the green to where your misses can still be putts. Got it rolling through eight holes, kind of stole one on the 8th on a tough par-3, and then kept it going and kept our head down. I got a little bit of frustration on 10, 11. I hit some good putts that just barely missed, 10, 11 and 12, but finished the round really nicely on the last six.

Q. I know you've been working hard on the putter, and today it woke up. It was really good today.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I put in so much time worrying about kind of what feeling, what technique I wanted at Erin Hills, and this week we spent less time on the green. I don't think that's something that would normally work, but it was something where we've been more feel based this week knowing that on poa annua anything can kind of happen. So my expectations may have been a bit lowered, which helps you putt better.

That one going in on the first was big for me, and then I made one on the fourth that was a putt that required a lot of precision, kind of a right-edge putt. If you get it started outside it misses, inside it could break off, and I thought when that one went in is when I really started to feel good with the putter.

Q. Huge crowd from start to finish. First time you've been here. They were excited to see you. That had to feel really good because you could hear it as you kept rolling in birdies.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, tremendous support when we walked onto the first tee. It was unreal. Normally that kind of stuff wouldn't take me back. But it was above and beyond. I thought that was really, really special. People really appreciate the guys coming and playing this event. We really appreciate that kind of support. It was nice to kind of -- when I could see the putt about to go in, I knew there was going to be a big roar, and it just makes it -- it gains a little bit more momentum, makes you feel pretty good. Kind of helps the shots you're playing throughout the round. You don't have to be kind of -- feel like you have to take as many chances. And I was able to play away from some pins when I was in a little bit of trouble, holes like No. 7, and then No. 8, where I could work it kind of into from where I was and got a few putts to go. They were very close. Even the ones that missed today were very close, which is very exciting going forward.

Q. Is this what you were talking about yesterday when you talked about you just needed a round where you started to see them fall?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, and I thought -- I got the question, "what did Sunday at the Open do?" when it really didn't matter much, and I thought that was a round just like this. I thought I played as well or even better in that round than I did today, and that kind of showed me that things are where I think they are. I just had a couple putts go. I had a couple putts go in there early. I birdied the first two holes with two made putts on Sunday at the Open, similar to today's round.

Yeah, it was nice. You're not going to shoot 7-under every round. It's just not going to be possible out here, and I recognize that, so it's about waiting for my chances to come the same way that we did it today. Keep hitting good putts. If they just miss, then tap them in, don't be too aggressive on the greens. That's where you get in trouble.

Q. Did you think this would be your kind of course coming into the week and what have you found?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I had no idea until we kind of got on the grounds and I saw Michael on Tuesday before we played any holes, and he said, "This course is tailor made for you," is what he said. I love the back nine. I think it's a very exciting nine holes of golf, one of the coolest stretches that we play where anything can happen. So that's good and bad when you're leading.

So again, yeah, I thought it was a really good golf course for us. You kind of maneuver the ball both ways. You've kind of got to watch out for -- you've got some clearings where the wind affects it more than other times where you're kind of in the valleys. But overall, poa annua greens, historically, aren't my best, and so today was a big confidence boost. The rest of the golf course I really love. The greens are just tough.

Q. From that standpoint, is it maybe a little more important than a usual Thursday round for you, talking about seeing putts drop and that sort of thing?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, I didn't think so because I felt similar for a month or two months now. It's just kind of been -- I felt like the more rounds I've played, the less I've needed it as bad, and it was -- I didn't feel that way at all today. I thought if we played -- I'm going to do what I've been doing tee to green. That's the idea. Stay focused tee to green, don't try and do too much out here because you get yourself 15 putts. Like I said yesterday, you get yourself 15 putts, they're bound to go in at some point.

Q. How did you like the crowd, the folks here and everything else?
JORDAN SPIETH: It was spectacular. I thought when we walked to the first tee yesterday and today, that was one of the best receptions I've ever had. It was really cool. And they stayed with us the whole round. Greller has got a lot of support here, too. There was some guys -- we've got Greller's Army out there. Yeah, the fans were awesome.

Q. You had a couple distractions out there on the 6th tee and then the long delay on 13. How do you deal with stuff like that?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it was a bit odd there, a lady fainted and then obviously we were going to wait and we tried to get -- our officer was right on top of it, and then the guy that was walking with us was on top of getting the paramedics involved, and she ended up being okay. A few weeks ago in Columbus, I actually witnessed a man passing away right off the green in the pro-am, and I don't know what the deal is. Wherever -- it's bizarre that that happens, but fortunately this lady, she got up and seemed to be just fine after she kind of cooled down for a little while and the paramedics came.

Yeah, I mean, there's more important things than golf. It didn't bother us. It wasn't anything -- it wasn't anything negative whatsoever. We just obviously were hoping she was going to be okay. And then wanted to be appropriate on how we went through the rest of our hole.

Q. This had to be one of the best, if not the best, debut you've had at a golf tournament. What made this course so easy for you?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, the front nine is pretty much straightforward. The second hole is a little tricky, but you hit it to point A and then point B and you putt -- on the back nine, I was fortunate to get two rounds on the back nine because there are some decisions that need to be made and some pins that you need to watch out for.

But we can adjust to courses pretty quickly. I think that's an advantage for us. I had to do it on the go my rookie year and even second year, and even 2015 on Tour where we were going to places that we hadn't seen before, moving up in the World Rankings and getting into tournaments we weren't into. It's just been a couple years since we've had to do it. But we love this place. Certainly the score says a lot, but even if I'd shot even par today, going into it, I thought it was a really good golf course for us.

Q. We've been talking so much about your putting over the last few months. You mentioned earlier in the week that you wanted to make sure you got the feel right so you can focus more on the speed and the line. How close do you feel like that is to becoming in sync?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's close. I'd call it halfway. Yeah, I'm not over it and just, okay, I'm right where I need to be and get through it. There's still some -- a level of discomfort, but it's certainly moving in the right direction.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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