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June 24, 2017

Jordan Spieth

Cromwell, Connecticut

THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome Jordan Spieth into the interview room. Jordan, three birdies in your final four holes, including a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th. So having a solo lead heading into tomorrow, what's your game plan for the final round?

JORDAN SPIETH: I'm going to go out there and play solid golf. That's what we've been doing. That's cliché, but a couple a side on a round like today, I thought at the beginning of the week if you shot 4-under each day, you'd be right there. So I think that's the goal.

Q. At one point Charley Hoffman took the lead very briefly. Were you watching the boards out there at all or kind of playing your own game?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I saw the boards. I was aware. I probably won't watch tomorrow, but, man, we had nothing else to do. That was a five and a half, six hour round today. We were standing around so long, you can't help but look around. But it was for everybody.

Yeah, Charley took the lead to no surprise. It's not like you're going to necessarily lead for every single hole that you play in a tournament. That's extremely rare. So wasn't bothersome whatsoever.

I felt like we still stuck to our goal which was getting up there and getting some looks, waiting for my looks and not forcing it if I was a little out of position. I thought we did a pretty good job of that today. I missed, it was really difficult on No. 4 and 5 today, and I thought those two up-and-downs along with obviously the chip in on 6 were massive. I very well should have been -- should have been 2-over through six holes and I was 1-under. So I stole some there around the greens, which is what I've been looking to do when something gets a little bit off elsewhere. It was really nice to see through there to gather that momentum and kind of calm down and get into the round.

Q. You're playing with Boo tomorrow. Can you appreciate the juxtaposition of where you are in your career and what you're trying to do and where he is in his career?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, sure. I hope I'm having as much fun each day as Boo's having. I mean, he lives it up. It's fun to be around Boo. He's always very nice to everybody he sees. Has some kind of a joke. If he's had a couple pops you barely understand him with his country accent.

He's a guy everybody very much respects and really likes being around, and that's fun. That's fun to play with. He's a really good ball striker who a couple events that I've been involved in in the heat of things he shot very low numbers on Sundays. He's not afraid to do so.

But, yeah, to answer your question, I can certainly see it, but it's not uncommon for me out here on the PGA TOUR to play with somebody that's a veteran who has won a few times around Boo's age. There are certainly guys that are in a similar position to myself. I don't think that will be anything that I'm thinking about tomorrow.

Q. Just a quick follow-up, can you see any similarities other than that you're both professional golfers between you and Boo?
JORDAN SPIETH: We both like to fish. I'm a beginner compared to Boo, but we do both like to bass fish and try to stake out a few of our favorite spots each year. I've borrowed his poles before, but he's an expert. But, yeah, other than that, I don't know. I don't know him extremely well, but enough in sitting and having lunch to know that he's a quality guy and enough to hear what other people say and that's who he is.

Q. Talked about sort of trying to get back to your comfort level with things, specifically with putting. How sort of close do you feel like it sort of all is? And secondly, how important is tomorrow in that regard?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's close. It's very difficult to putt Poa Annua in the afternoon no matter where you are, and it's very difficult to be comfortable. So this isn't exactly a surface or the position that's easiest to do so. But when we roll in putts on 16 and 18 like that, and 17 was right on line and got right up there to a tap in, that's a big confidence boost. I was kind of putting okay before that, and then that made it really solid at the end. And I was just visualizing it going in the last few holes instead of how to stroke it. I visualize where the ball's tracking and that's when I'm putting my best.

So I said, you know what? If I don't start it where I'm looking, then I don't start it where I'm looking, life goes on. It was easier when I thought about that. It's hard to think about that for five and a half hours though.

Q. Jordan, can you go over what happened on 13, 14, and then 15 and how the crowd played into it all day long?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, 13 I figured the hazard was one stroke better than out of bounds, so made a 6 instead of a 7. I could drop it up there and hit it to a wedge and make sure that I'm making 5 or 6. But I just got quick on it. It was actually probably, I don't know what it showed as, but it had to be one of the top couple easiest holes of the day. But it's all really in that tee ball.

So I don't know what the wind is tomorrow. That depends on what club I hit. The wind decides the club.

Then 14 I just hit the wrong club into the green. I was kind of in between, and I thought I was a little amped up, a little adrenaline, so I tried to hit a gap wedge instead of an easy pitching wedge. I think it landed pretty close to the edge, and if it lands on it, it bounces to about pin high, and if it lands just short, it comes right off that fringe and it was a tough up-and-down. So 15, bailed out, but I hit that shot to that pin in the practice round multiple times. I got in that bunker and hit shots to that pin, to the back right pin, and I think I probably hit three or four to that flag from the front of the bunker where I was. Just kind of got a feel for what it was like. I was on the upslope into the wind, so it was as easy as that shot could get.

When it came down on the flagstick and it landed, I thought it was going to go in, yeah. It just kind of bounced a little bit to the right. I was extremely pleased. But it was one where a lot of guys had been in there today, so the ball was sitting pretty.

It was just about landing it around the right distance, because it was going to have the height to stop quickly. It was just about pitching it in five feet of depth to get it to stay there within five feet.

Q. What is the logic, distance of a makeable putt on this golf course?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think that's a good question. I struggle with that out there myself. I'm wondering that while I play. Where should your expectations be? Late in the day, just anywhere. I mean, you can hit a good two-footer that on Poa Annua, these greens are pure. We got some rains so they were just a little more traffic on them today, but they'll firm up for tomorrow and should roll even truer.

But they are pure Poa Annua. But Poa Annua's, Poa Annua. You can hit a really solid two-footer that just takes the wrong bounce, and it takes a big lip out. So to answer your question, kind of any distance.

But you can also, I had one on 10 go in today that I was sure I missed right, and it kind of bounced its way back online. So it can go both ways.

Q. Do you think putts outside 20 feet is an iron problem or putting problem?
JORDAN SPIETH: Putts outside 20 feet are a problem?

Q. An iron problem or putting problem?
JORDAN SPIETH: Probably putting.

Q. You talked about sort of the way the short game gave you a little bit of confidence. Is that almost an immediate when you feel you get a couple to draw up, you get up-and-down from some key spots. Does it almost free you up almost immediately to go on with the rest of your day?
JORDAN SPIETH: Kind of. Not fully, no. Because the way it happened today, definitely, but not always. Good short game shots are the reason you'd stay in tournaments. The guys near the top of the leaderboard have all been in trouble this week, and they've gotten out of it from a solid short game and then continued on the round.

But something like today could be a big-time boost. Like I said, you turn -- the one on -- the one on 4 was not too hard. The bunker shot was a little tricky on 5. Then 6 was a really tough up-and-down from over the green. So I really do think I saved two shots around the greens there. It can definitely be a catapult when you feel like you really saved them.

When you get around these greens too you recognize that when you miss it, the likelihood is you're going to be outside of a couple feet trying to putt for par, and, again, it's very difficult. They're putting pins in very tough locations where if you're outside of two feet, it can be a little mini double-breaker-type scenario.

So sometimes when you do miss and you're kind of saving yourself, it can be even more stressful. Because you'll sit there and be like all I've got to do is hit the green in regulation. Just get out and let me play a couple holes stress free and move on. But I think the way it happened today, that fifth and sixth hole were massive.

Q. Jordan, everybody talks about needing to be patient with golf. You finished 3-under in your last four today. Is it a little bit easier to be patient out here knowing that you've got some birdiable holes at the very end?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yes, but at the same time guys can tear up this front nine, and you see that on the board. You're sitting there going, man, I should be taking advantage where they are. It's not the easiest course to hold the lead on. I think I said the same thing at the John Deere in 2015. I was leading through 54 by a shot or two. It's just not the easiest course, because guys get out there an hour before you tomorrow in twosomes. All of a sudden there is a group that is one back or even you may not be leading anymore. So kind of recognizing that, hey, you still have those holes to play. If it doesn't work out, stay focused on a goal is the most important thing. So that will be the goal tomorrow.

Q. Can you talk about the crowd today? Even at the most distant point from the clubhouse, both fairways were lined. Talk about what kind of crowd or what kind of scene will it be out here tomorrow when you and Boo are in the last group?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, people have come to this tournament. It is lined up and it's deep. That creates a lot of interesting scenarios on a Saturday afternoon. Mostly good, and you get your comments. But yeah, I mean, the support that we've had this week is unbelievable.

I imagine being in the last couple groups on the weekend when the weather's good out here, it's a highly populated area and within a couple hours you've got two of the biggest cities in the world. I imagine it to be pretty similar tomorrow. It will be a lot of fun.

We enjoy it. When you hear that roar, you can kind of -- you're used to hearing some roars. When you hear one that's really loud, it's that extra kind of hit you in the head and you're like, wow, that's cool. The one on 18 today and the shot on 15 were the two that were just insane. I mean, a couple of the loudest roars I've ever had.

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