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August 27, 2017

Jordan Spieth

Old Westbury, New York

JOHN BUSH: Jordan Spieth joins us here in the media center at The Northern Trust.

Jordan, I know a disappointing finish for you. But if we can get some comments on your entire day leading into the playoff.

JORDAN SPIETH: I wanted to shoot 2-under today. I saw the scores early and knew the course was playing more difficult, a lot firmer, and that makes it tougher to make putts, too, when it's so crusty.

And got off to a good start and just made a mistake on 6 and kind of flustered me for a couple holes. Fought back nicely on the back nine. Made a couple big putts, and did what I needed to do on 18. DJ's looked like it was hanging out on the right side and he made an unbelievable putt there to make just a fantastic par.

We got back to the tee and the wind had completely shifted to where it was downwind, and I didn't take the chance over the water, like I should have. And you know, hitting 7-iron in versus wedge to a bull pin with firm greens is a totally different situation, and he hit the shot he needed to hit and knocked it right there below the hole.

So I shot 1-under, out of the two, in pretty tough conditions, golf course conditions. Proud of the way I played. I really didn't miss many shots.

Q. What went through your mind when you saw where DJ's ball went off the tee?
JORDAN SPIETH: He outdrove me by 25 but that's just the difference in the angle. You know, if I draw No. 2 instead of No. 1, if he I don't know if he does that, I'm sure he probably still does.

But when that wind flipped down, I had it downwind in a practice round from the back of the tee box and carried and so I should have stepped up there and taken that line. But it's just, the wind was flipping all day. My shot that went in the water, if it were the normal wind, that ball would have carried pin-high. I mean it would have been eight yards' difference. It was flipping like this and so for me to sit there and try and trust a 300 carry when we just played the hole into the wind was going to be a little difficult, and I hit the shots I needed to hit.

18 is one of the hardest holes. I made two pars, and lost it, par, birdie. When I saw his ball, where he was lined up, I was hoping he was not going to notice that (laughter) no, honestly, I was hoping -- because I know that -- I knew he had plenty to do the first time around, too. I was hoping that he would line up down the middle and he almost can't hold the fairway lining up down the middle.

But when he lined up over there, and hit the drive, I was -- at that point, I have to try and make par best I can, and I'm just hoping; I'm at such a disadvantage.

Q. You got a great putt on 17 for the par, but what was your -- what were you trying to do with that tee shot once he was in the bunker?
JORDAN SPIETH: I was trying to start it at the CBS Sports sign. I had to really, really get on a 6-iron, and cut it. So I was trying to just mash a cut 6 and I just got a little up with it, and left the face open.

You know, if there's no water there, I probably hit a better shot but at the same time, I was never actually going to draw it into the water. It's just a deceiving hole in general, and that's what makes it so difficult.

When he hit it in the bunker, I knew that his was on the flat but I thought that he was going to have to make a 6-, 7-footer for par, so in my mind, I'm just trying to hit the front center of the green, and if it goes in, great. If you tap-in for par, you tap-in for par, and he has to make a putt. And then did what I could after the tee shot.

Q. I know it's disappointing to lose but looking at it from the outside to have the two basically top players in the game now going head-to-head in a playoff on a Sunday, is it entertaining to you?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I thought that was a fun show. I thought that was a fun show to be a part of. I was hoping it wasn't going to be that much fun (laughter).

But as we battle it out, when he made his putt on 10, which I think tied it, that's when I said, okay, we've got a bunch of wedge holes here. You know, I expect him to go a couple under coming in. Therefore, I've got to step up to the plate now and deliver a couple birdies myself, and was able to do that.

But man, I mean, both of us had a really tough time. We talked about it throughout the whole -- we were talking to each other the first nine holes. We had a really tough time trying to figure out what the ball is going to do on the green. Some greens were landing really soft and then others were just taking one massive hop.

And the fairways were so firm that you were hitting off of; it makes you think the greens are going to be that firm. We both came up short on most of the holes we played on the front nine until we started to kind of fire to it on 10.

Q. This were a couple guys that made a little bit of run; Rahm got within a shot. But overall during the day, did it feel like just a heavyweight battle between you two guys?
JORDAN SPIETH: I would say not until after 13. Before that, I saw the board and there were guys within two shots or maybe even 1, but I saw two, and thought, you know, if they close within a birdie or two, the last four holes are very difficult. I didn't think it was a battle until we both got another birdie, and then I thought from there, we had separated ourselves because I didn't hear anything in front of us.

Q. I apologize if this is a repeat. I just came in. What was your reaction on his drive in the playoff there, you know there's nothing you can do --
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, well, I could have trusted downwind because I can carry that. It's about 296 to the fairway and if there's any down -- I carry my driver with a solid 1 right around 290, 290 to 295, and then I have adrenaline, too.

But the problem was, is before the playoff, when we played it in regulation, only ten minutes prior, it was actually an into-the-wind hole off the right, and we got back out there and it was straight downwind. So it had just done a complete flip. If it was died down or any down, it was no surprise DJ was going to take it. It was just going to be very difficult for me to trust that within those ten minutes, we had a complete stoppage and flip of the wind.

Looking back, I needed to take that chance with a bull pin knowing DJ is obviously plenty fine hitting it there.

Q. Based on your percentage of puts you mentioned yesterday, what would you call your one on 16? Looks like it snaps pretty good left.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, what threw my speed off a little was it was bowed a little. I had an uphill putt but right after the hole it started to go downhill. It was fearful enough to not want a 3-footer coming back and thinking I could just knock it in with die speed, and I was just barely off on the speed but on the percentage, I thought it was over 50 percent there, for sure. I was very confident stepping up and I hit a putt the way I wanted.

You know, when you get putts like that towards the end of the day on poa annua, it could just be a matter of which kind of footprint it took, you know. These were some of the best poa annua greens I've ever putted on in my life but they are still dicey at the end of the day.

Q. Secondly, did it surprise you at all when he laid up on 18?
JORDAN SPIETH: I was surprised, yeah, because I knew the pin was back further than it was on Friday. Therefore, it was pitched a little, which would have given him room had he just got it into a bunker or even in the rough.

I would have tried to go for it, but I didn't see his lie. I didn't walk over and see his lie. But the wedge, it came out as if he would have been okay. In his mind, he didn't think he could hold the green at all, because I asked him about it. He didn't think he could hold the green. If it lands on, it's going to bound over, and if it's short in the rough, he thought he could get it closer with a wedge, given the up-and-down.

But I would have tried to get it into a bunker and then it would have been a little easier shot.

Q. When did you ask him?
JORDAN SPIETH: When we were -- had to be right when we were in scoring.

Q. You had the fantastic putt on 17, followed by a 70-footer to two feet on 18. Can you just take us through a little bit that final putt coming down from the rough, looked like you had the right speed but maybe read a little further to the left.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it was a little tough. I just needed -- it was going to be kind of pure luck if it was going to go in or not, given it's coming out of the first cut. But I didn't think chipping it's any better because it's landing on -- it's just so tough to get the right speed.

And you never count yourself out. DJ's putt was breaking left; it's beat up around the hole; everyone has had the putt from where he is. He could hit a good putt and it could miss the hole completely. So I needed to putt that with the right speed, if it happens to go in.

The thing was, is I read the putt to be very straight, but what I didn't account that much for is it threw it off over a cup before it even got to the green, just out of the rough and onto the fringe. If that rolls straight through there, then it's got a chance.

Q. Will it take you very long to get over this?
JORDAN SPIETH: No. No. I didn't lose it tournament. He won it, you know.

Q. Just wanted to make sure.
JORDAN SPIETH: Played well. Game feels good. And I recognized a couple tendencies that I got into my swing towards the end of the round that prevented me from hitting great iron shots like I did before, so I know what to work on.

I feel great about my game. I had two great putting days. I had one bad putting day and one very average. Just get the putting more consistent.

Q. How did you feel about the crowds today? They were pretty loud. Did you feel like it was 50/50 out there?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I thought -- whenever I thought they were for me, then something would happen with him and it seemed like everybody was rooting for him can and it would flip back. It seemed 50/50, yeah. I think everyone wanted a fight to the end. I think the way it played out, if I had been a fan, I would have been obviously very pleased with the way this tournament went.

But you know, it's very difficult holding a lead on a difficult golf course when the guy you're playing with goes bogey-free and doesn't even really sniff a bogey and shoots 4-under. You know, hats off to DJ. But no surprise, either.

Q. I hope this isn't absurd, but given your relationship with DJ, when he has a putt in regulation that is on the right side and goes in on the left side of the cup, and it's a great putt, what's going through your head? Are you annoyed or is there any part of you that pressures it or what?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I wasn't rooting for him to make that putt (laughter). When he hit it, I was just thinking, I didn't know if he was going to go firm or soft. I didn't know if he was going to try and give himself a chance to lip it in or try and take some more break out. Again, the greens, sometimes it's better to have a little speed on them right now.

But about three feet out, I thought it was high from my angle and I was 90 degrees, so it's hard to tell. But I thought it was missing high, but his body language was hanging in. I'm like, does that really still have a chance? And it came around and lipped in, and my initial thought was: I just did that exact same thing to him the hole before. So can't think too much of it. Then I had to go knock mine in.

JOHN BUSH: Jordan, best of luck next week in Boston.

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