home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 22, 2017

Jordan Spieth

Southport, England

MIKE WOODCOCK: Welcome, Jordan Spieth, into the interview room. Jordan, 5-under par, 65 today and a three-shot lead going into the final round. What was the key for you today?

JORDAN SPIETH: I thought being a very favourable day for scoring and recognizing that ahead of time made it pretty tough mentally because you're in a position -- I was in a position leading by two, where par being a good score, you'd think would be just a little bit easier because you can play safer, which is how you want to play when you're leading. But it's a day where you had to be aggressive.

The shot on 3 was big for me to get started, not having to work too hard for it, just kind of hitting one good shot on the hole in there tight to a few inches. And the par saves around 8 and 9 were really the most stress that I had for the entire day.

Really solid round given the position we were in starting the day. I'm extremely pleased. Couldn't ask for much more.

Q. A couple of putts, a couple of birdie putts you made after Kooch had tied for the lead. How important did you feel in your head it was to stay ahead the whole time? And secondly, whether it helps or hurts that you give yourself a small level of separation?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think -- I thought it was important. I didn't think it was extremely important. Our game plan when we stood on the tee was, let's push each other to separate and get this pairing tomorrow. That's kind of what we wanted to do.

But, yeah, I thought the one on 15 was really big. Because he tied the lead there. I'd hit a good shot in there, and hit what I thought was a good putt and it ended up turning into not so good of a putt. And that putt was very difficult, because with any speed getting to the hole, the hole was on a crown, it was going to go three or four feet by, and then I've got a three or four-footer for par for my putt. It was a scary one, probably the scariest of the day. And to knock that one in was the one that I thought was big to stay ahead.

And then the separation? I think it's -- yeah, I'd much rather have it this way than any other way unless I could be 15 clear, that would be the only thing -- I think less number of people towards the top or at least a bit of separation is definitely more comfortable feeling.

Q. You said yesterday as you got out there like maybe on 3, you said, man, I might be able to shoot a 68 today but you didn't think that as you first went out there. Did your strategy change as you went out there? Did you have a number in your mind?
JORDAN SPIETH: Our goal was to shoot 4 today. I told Michael I wanted to get two aside, get to 10-under. Nothing changed, no, it played exactly how we thought. Yesterday was a crap shoot, we didn't know if we'd get rain or how wind, so to adjust which tomorrow will be like. But today was just go out there and take advantage when you get a good number and when you don't, take your medicine. It's so much easier to putt with that wind, let alone hit shots tee to green.

I stayed out of trouble off the tee today. Off the tee after the first two holes I thought it was my best performance that I've had in the last few events. And I was really excited about that, finishing the day.

Q. When you're walking up to the 18th green, are you already focused and thinking about what you need to do on that putt? And if so, when Matt told you, "This is a pretty cool moment, let's soak this in," did you have to stop and think, oh, yeah, right, or do you try to always do that?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's funny you mention that. Typically when I'm walking up to greens, I take out kind of my notes and I know where I've been. I've got a greens book, I'm trying to just get an idea what the putt is going to do as I walk up. I started to take out my book, and saw the 18th hole and I'm like, I can't. This is not worthy of this. Everyone is giving us an ovation and it's a time to appreciate that, enjoy the walk, but also to say "thank you" for the support that these crowds give.

I think these crowds are second to none. They're the most educated golf fans. And that 18th hole walk is a really, really special thing to do, whether it's Monday in a practise round or it's Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

When Matt came over and said that, I had already started to kind of appreciate that. But, yeah, it was a fun walk. Matt keeps things light. He's a funny guy. And I really enjoy playing golf with him. And it was cool for him to come over and kind of say something like that then.

Q. You talked earlier this week about how your diet and fitness and help has helped the iron play. When was that decided and how decided that that was what you needed to work on? And then if having confidence in your iron play has led you to take it safer off the tee, you're not afraid to lay back and have longer irons in?
JORDAN SPIETH: I would say last year, year and a half. What led to it? Nothing other than I just wanted to make sure I'm doing the right things that give me the possibility to play as long a career as I can, and to think about that at 23 I think is unusual. But I'm happy that I kind of had that. And I think it will serve me well going forward. I'm not weird or a freak about it. I'm just kind of watching what I'm eating and I'm a little more focused on rest, on repetitions, practicing right. And then spending the time that's necessary to make sure that you're avoiding any potential injury. I don't know really why it kicked in, but it just kind of hit me that way.

What was the second part?

Q. Not being too aggressive.
JORDAN SPIETH: Definitely. When I feel good about the way I'm swinging my irons, it translates to definitely -- it translates back to the tee box. A day like today, these bunkers a lot of time you're flying one but you're trying to keep it short of the next, which is very difficult. And luckily the fairways are softer and I thought it was easier to do that, especially without wind, to trust your shot and know that it's not going to roll too far, which made it a lot easier off the tee. But after a couple well-struck irons, I knew that as long as I put myself in the fairway or right near it, no matter how far back, I was going to have still have a birdie. But we still played aggressive today.

Q. You're always such a positive thinker. Tomorrow do you, when you go out in the final rounds, do you ignore the memories of Augusta last year or do you embrace it and try and use what you learned from that as an extent?
JORDAN SPIETH: Absolutely. I think I'm in a position where it can be very advantageous, just everything I've gone through, the good, the bad, and everything in the middle. I understand that leads can be squandered quickly, and I also understand how you can keep on rolling on one.

So it was a humbling experience that I thought at the time could serve me well going forward. And if I don't win tomorrow, it has nothing to do with that. It has to do with it was someone else's day, and I didn't play as well as I should have. And if I win tomorrow it has nothing to do with that, either. You're learning and it all goes into the mental process. And as I go in for the next whatever, 18, 20 hours, it's about being very positive and really staying very focused on a game plan for tomorrow. Relax, smile more. Michael is doing a great job keeping us loose. It's been pretty easy. And it's not going to get any easier.

So tomorrow will be a day that will be emotionally draining and difficult to stay very neutral in the head, but that's probably the most important thing for me to do.

Q. It seems like since the outset of the week you've carried a certain swagger about you. I mean it in a very good sense. Do you sense that? And if, so what kind of flipped that switch?
JORDAN SPIETH: I thought Hartford was big. I went in and I knew I didn't feel great with the putter, and it's been kind of off and on this year and was able to win feeling really poorly with putter and that's never happened before, going back to junior golf. And being able to do that gave me a confidence, and then I had a lot of rest. I just feel rested. I've conserved energy in two of the three rounds and the other it was going to be impossible to. But that's good. I'm going back, I'm just going to bed, waking up, staying off my feet, recognizing I've been through this experience a lot. And I know how draining it can be and how important it is to conserve it. And that's the plan going into tomorrow.

Q. You've played a lot of weekend rounds over the last few years ago with the lead. Is that a role that you relish and is it a role that you've had to learn how to deal with?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's a different feeling and one that's harder to sleep with than the other way around because you feel like you've got to almost change the way you do things. And you almost kind of see the finish line. And you control your own destiny, and sometimes that can be a big thing on your mind versus, I need help and I'll just go out there and try to play well. If I get help, great, if I don't, I don't.

It's a little bit tougher to sleep but I've been fine recently. I expect to be. If not, I can sleep during the day tomorrow; we don't tee off until pretty late. But I wouldn't rather be in any other position than where we're at. And we have an opportunity to have a really special day on the golf course tomorrow. I'm excited about it.

Q. As you approach tomorrow, how do you balance that concept of playing to win but also trying to play sort of not to lose, being safe? You have a three-shot lead.
JORDAN SPIETH: I think the conditions are going to help me pick and choose. Like we've just been talking about, I feel very confident in the way I've been striking my irons. If that continues and I feel that way as we get in our warmup and then early in the round tomorrow, then I can play more conservative off the tee and take a lot of those bunkers out of play. And that's obviously very important. Greens in regulation I hit, again, probably 16 today, like I did the first round. Probably not realistic tomorrow, but I think it will be a bit easier to kind of figure that out.

I think it will be easier than today to get out there and play a bit safer because I don't think it will be as scorable as it was today.

Q. What did you glean from some of the early morning golf if you watched it? And what did you take away from some of that scoring that went on?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, just that pars were okay today, really good. That Royal Birkdale notoriously difficult had just become one of the easier golf courses that we play for one round for the year. And you just kind of got to change that in your mind. After the golf course we saw yesterday, that it can totally be different today. Only happens over here, which is why -- and it doesn't happen very often and that's why it was something that you truly had to change your mindset with.

But the early coverage just showed pin seeking, the balls reacting, spinning. The one hole that was tricky to figure out what to do was No. 5. I stood on the tee and I didn't like the numbers we had. Driver seemed like it would go too far and if I bailed out left and pulled it, it would be in trouble. And 3-wood wasn't quite going to get there at 265 into the breeze on the fronted. But that was the only decision that really needed to be made. Other than that it was point A, point B, and there's not a whole lot in between with the conditions.

Q. Where did you think your approach on 18 would end up when you were walking off the green? Did you feel like you stole one?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, absolutely, one or two. I felt like I got a tough break on 17. I thought I hit a pretty good shot in there that if it's a yard left, it is an eagle putt, but instead I'm half plugged up towards the lip. That was a bad break but 18 I made up for that half shot there, if not another one.

I thought it was going to be in the bunker, but I guess it hit right on the mounds there and had enough spin to be able to check. When I got up to the green I was happily shocked. And then from there I thought this is where I normally capitalize and I kind of make a scrappy birdie. And even though I had missed quite a few putts from that range, and I had a lot of them today, that one just felt good looking at it. I could cast it out a little bit, and put the right speed on with a few feet to go, it was going to go in and it was a good feeling.

Q. Congratulations on your round. Could I ask you about a younger Texan golfer, who I think you're familiar with, Austin Connelly, raising some eyebrows here. Tell us about his game, what you think his abilities are, and how impressed you've been, maybe not seeing him, but seeing his scores?
JORDAN SPIETH: I've known Austin for quite a while, played quite a bit of golf with him. He's been working with Cameron for a long time, just like myself. He's got a great head. He's got a killer instinct. He's a guy that's not afraid of the moment, as you can tell. And it will be a matter of time.

But the hardest thing is gaining status, right, for somebody like him. He's got a day tomorrow where not only can he win a major championship, but it can do a lot for him in a lot of different areas. And I think he embraces that. That would scare a lot of people off. And I wouldn't expect that. And in difficult conditions, I think, is more favourable to him. His round today was tremendous given as he doesn't hit it as far off the tee, so a longer golf course than a lot of other guys were playing, but was able to shoot 4-under or so today, 4 or 5. And I think he got off to an awesome start is what Michael said.

I think it's really cool. It's cool to see. It's awesome for Cameron. It's awesome obviously for Austin and very impressed with the way that he's obviously gone about it. But me saying that doesn't mean that much to him, because he expects that out of himself.

Q. Can you outline what you believe is going to be your game plan tomorrow and how much would that be different if you were tied for the lead?
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't think it changes much from being tied for the lead. I think I will assume that we are tied for the lead. And I think -- my game plan is going to take shape around 12 o'clock tomorrow. I'm going to have to see what's forecasted and I'm able to fortunately watch coverage, see where misses are, see what putts do. It's actually a nice advantage to have. But I don't think my game plan changes much.

I'm hitting the ball really nicely. It's all about greens in regulation. If the conditions are tough and you have to lay it further back, and play further away from holes, so be it. But having a putter in my hand for birdie is the most important thing for tomorrow.

Q. How much of Branden's round did you see this morning? And even in the conditions that you said were very favourable, what sort of achievement is it to shoot 62 at a major championship?
JORDAN SPIETH: I saw his putt on No. 1 is all I saw of his round, actually. I don't think he was really picked up until a little later in his round then, and by them we were into our warmup.

I think it's incredible. It's incredible, because I mean that's something that's stood quite a while. And that's historic.

You saw how much he moved up the leaderboard. You can talk about the course being easier. We get that every year. There's at least a few days where you can go out and shoot a low score. But to go out there and to shoot 62 in this kind of setting knowing what he knows about the history of it is extremely impressive.

He's a great player. I played with him in the final round of the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay -- wow (laughter) and pending one swing, he won the golf tournament. He's somebody you've got to watch out for tomorrow, because he's not scared to do it again.

Q. You referenced Matt a little while ago. Very often in majors when a guy wins he talks about a comfortable pairing. How advantageous can that be when you are playing with somebody like Matt, who seems to be you're very comfortable? Can that be intangible for you tomorrow?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I think so. I think for either one of us. I don't know how he feels about playing with me, but I enjoy playing with him. I think it can be definitely an advantage. At this point typically if you have a chance to win a major, you're with somebody that you've played a bit of golf with. You always have at least one or two guys that are certainly making noise or headlines. But for the most part you get -- just because the field is set with the guys you've played with so often. But Matt, himself, specifically, he's very easy to talk to, always talk a go away from golf. Tomorrow could be a different story. I'm not sure what he'll be like. But he's always in a light mood and I think that definitely could be nice tomorrow and an intangible for sure.

MIKE WOODCOCK: Jordan, very well played today and best of luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297