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August 10, 2017

Jordan Spieth

Charlotte, North Carolina

JORDAN SPIETH: I really didn't -- I don't think I missed any short putts today. I missed -- I just had really poor speed on my really long ones.

I created technically three two-putts that were three 3-putts. One of them I putted off the green; the other two were off the green. They were hard putts, but not ones that -- it's not -- those three holes I would say average would be 1-over on those threes. It was so difficult. Instead I was three.

It was just the putter. Everything else was fine, my bunker play actually made a lot of progress on. I bailed on my two bunker shots I had today which was frustrating. It was just the bunker play and the greens.

Q. At 3-over, what is it about you that can --
JORDAN SPIETH: Easier holes. I hit 7 and 8, probably two of the three or four easier holes on the golf course, as long as you place your tee shot in the right place.

I had a hybrid into 7 that made that stress-free birdie. I hit a fantastic pitch into 8. So good tee shots, which is important. But from there I hit two difficult and extremely solid shots that led to very stress-free birdies.

I needed those from short range because it seemed like the lid was on today. I burned a lot of edges. Some were good putts, some weren't. Overall that's what I'm going to work on is hitting some more putts.

Q. Was it important not to shoot yourself out of it today?
JORDAN SPIETH: No. I mean, historically, I'm pretty solid with the lead. So that was kind of the goal was to grab the lead. It's much easier when you are on the front page of the leaderboard than it is coming from behind. Given it's the first round, I know I'm still in it but I know that tomorrow's round becomes that much more important to work my way and stay in it. I've got to make up ground. If I'm five back at the start of the day, I've got to be less than five back after Friday to really feel like I can play the way this golf course needs to be played and still be able to win.

Q. What was it like to have Michael Phelps inside the ropes?
JORDAN SPIETH: It was great. He had followed us quite a few rounds. He's become a good friend and mentor. It's pretty awesome to have a mentor like that. He texted earlier in the week. I think he was here for an outing and said he was going out to be out following today.

Q. (Inaudible)?
JORDAN SPIETH: Just we've had dinner, talked through a lot of things that I will probably just keep to myself.

Q. General mental approach?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, a lot of mental approach and preparation stuff.

Q. What are you most satisfied about today?
JORDAN SPIETH: I drove the ball well today. Struck it pretty good. It was really pleased -- if you told me I was going to hit my driver the way that I did today, I would have definitely thought I shot a few under par which was an awesome score.

It was good today. If it stays that way -- I can't putt any worse than I did today. The score won't be any higher than it was today if I'm driving the ball today.

Q. Brooks said it's easy to get defensive on these greens. Did you find yourself becoming defensive?
JORDAN SPIETH: Some of these putts that I had for birdie are really one out of five maybe to make. On other greens you are looking at 50 percent. Out here, it's just the way it is. The pins are on two and a half to three degree slopes. When you are pin high, it may look like -- the crowd goes oh, but in our minds it's really essentially a 20-footer with the expectation on the putts. They are difficult to make if you don't leave it below the hole with not a lot of break.

I wasn't frustrated. I hit some good putts that missed. I burned a lot of edges today. I didn't make the one out of five. Instead I missed the ten out of ten from that kind of range. If I grabbed a couple of those then I would be pleased obviously. Yes, you need to be defensive on these greens. You have to. I was defensive and still had to make four to five-footers for par on a couple them.

Q. When you get frustrated, do you have something, a word or phrase, that you can calm down?
JORDAN SPIETH: I wouldn't say a word or a phrase. On a day like today where you are at a few over but the course is tough, I had a couple of easy holes left. If I were to finish par, par, par, I would have thrown myself out of the tournament. We had a wait there and I thought to myself they are not giving birdies at all. You have to pull off some solid shots to make birdies on those holes. With good tee balls it becomes easier than the rest of the golf course. Recognizing where we were on the golf course and what holes we had played and what holes were left was important in really zeroing in and hitting my targets at the finish line.

If I was focused on my score, it might have been a different story. I was focused on what we had left. Michael said, Let's get three looks and see what happens. I had three looks and almost got back all the way to even.

Q. What did you hit on 7?
JORDAN SPIETH: I hit a hybrid into the green. I put in a hybrid this week. It flies about the same distance, everything. It comes in a little bit higher, so it's better on the par-5s.

Q. Talk about free rolling. How did that play with your mindset?
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't think I was as free rolling as I thought I would be, as you can tell by some frustration. If I would have shot 1 over and didn't strike it well and everything was average, it would have been fine. But when I had the chances that I had and I just couldn't get the ball to go in on the greens, that is when I get the most frustrated I can get out there.

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