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September 27, 2017

Jordan Spieth

Jersey City, New Jersey

Q. Can you take me back to 2012 and 2013, your first match with Stricks, how important was that playing with him and how much advice do you give to players?
JORDAN SPIETH: I was a mess the first few holes. I hit a ball in the water on 2, hit a ball in the water on 3, hit a chunk 6-iron in the water on 4 and Strick put his arm around me and said, "Don't worry, I've got you until you're ready to go. I've got your back." And he did. We were 1- or 2-up at the time and I had not even played a hole.

That's really important. It is something different. It's a different feeling in these team events. There will be a couple guys where they may not bother and there will be a couple guys where it just may be difficult to get started. But recognizing that you have those kind of teammates, and I think the pairings were made with a little bit of that in mind to kind of bring out the best in everyone.

So what can I say to guys that are just, maybe it's their first time? You know, not a whole lot. I think we may have a lot of first timers, but for the most part, they are all, I would say, even more accomplished than first-timers typically are.

So not a whole lot to be said. We've got a lot of pairings this week of guys that played a lot of rounds of golf together throughout the year. So it's nothing new when they pair up as a team. It's a matter of getting settled into playing for your country and kind of the craziness that these team events bring out.

Q. You would be favorite against anyone -- how do you maintain that same level of excellence?
JORDAN SPIETH: We just try to control what we can control. Jason said it yesterday on The Morning Show: They have got nothing to lose, and a lot of times, that's a little easier to play from. We can't allow them to gather any kind of momentum. They feel like they got some off the last Presidents Cup and we certainly didn't want that to happen. And tomorrow is a big day.

Patrick and I are very serious and very focused on tomorrow in this alternate-shot format where we have been very successful in this tournament -- in either tournament. We're out there. Doesn't matter who we are playing. We're doing our best to try and just control what we can control because tomorrow is a big day in shutting down any momentum they may feel.

Q. Are you and Patrick becoming an assumed pairing?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, there might be a mix-up here and there this week, tossing out a few different ones, but starting out pretty consistent to start which makes sense. Just trying to gather a level of comfort as we get into this team event this first day. We have a lot of fun.

We try to beat each other and we try to play better than each other that day. It's like a weird way that helps our team out because we don't like the other one getting more credit than the other. It's kind of like a weird pride thing for us but it's been successful.

Q. Your caddie this week --
JORDAN SPIETH: I was thinking either my dad -- Nikki Stricker is available. She's done a pretty good job for Strick. She said she'd do it. I'm sure we can find some options.

Q. What do you think of the pairs on their team?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, they are young, as well, and they have got a good stable of guys that have gotten to really play together the last couple of Presidents Cups. You've got your Gracey and Oosthuizen pairing that hasn't lost. You have J-Day, Adam, Leisch, Charl, these guys that have played on a few times that can really be leaders in their clubhouse, and guys like Hideki, very accomplished players.

So they are a young team that I think are going to be very difficult this week. I think it's going to be closer than it may look ahead of time. It seems to be -- two years ago in Korea, it was a pretty similar-type questioning that we were getting ahead of time and it ended up coming down to one or two matches in the end.

Foursomes are very important. Fourball, we feel like our depth is giving us even more of an advantage, but in foursomes, with heavy winds tomorrow, we've got to really stay patient and recognize what that format brings and be okay with pars on certain holes. You've really got to dial it back a little tomorrow.

Q. What does it mean to play for your country?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's my fifth time as a professional, and each time I feel more relaxed and even more proud. Here in New York, being a pretty diverse place but a very proud American city, as well, I think it's going to be a lot of fun to have this crowd to feed off of.

Q. And playing against Emiliano Grillo --
JORDAN SPIETH: It's really cool to have somebody I grew up playing golf with the last ten to 15 years. We grew up with each other and played against each other through high school, to play each other in a Presidents Cup match is really, really cool. I don't think that happens very often and I think we're going to have good fun with it.

Q. Do you have a message to all of the Mexican fans struggling?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, with the earthquake, obviously prayers are going out to everybody in Mexico City and the surrounding areas. You know, natural disasters are never good, and hopefully whatever we can do to help relief efforts, that would be obviously fantastic to do. There's been quite a few natural disasters that have happened recently. Those are all much bigger than what we're doing here, and our minds should be there.

Q. How much is in the tank --
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I'll have plenty in the tank. There's enough adrenaline running through these events for sure. Took off Monday. Didn't do anything, and then we've had some busy couple days the last two days. I'm glad we're starting later tomorrow. We can catch up on sleep, and we're doing one round and one round tomorrow in an alternate-shot format, it almost feels like you're playing less golf.

So you can almost gather rest for the rest of the week as you're playing in this event the next two days. I feel good. I had some things I needed to work on on the greens, and then a little bit off the tee. My coach, Cameron, has been here, and we've been able to work on a little, and so I feel very confident.

Q. The way the tee box is set up, what do you expect the environment to be like tomorrow morning?
JORDAN SPIETH: It will be great. It's similar to the tee box in really every team event I've played in recently. Patrick is going it stand on the first tee, as per usual with our pairing. That's kind of how we decided odds and evens was Patrick hitting the first tee shot. He just loves it.

I might even forecaddie. I might go down the fairway. I don't know. He embraces it. I'll let him do his thing.

Q. Do you sense more of the crowds pulling for J.T.?
JORDAN SPIETH: I didn't play any rounds with him this week but sure, when you win a major, it's a different level of notoriety and people. You certainly go into more households and you become a household name. J.T., it's a matter of time, so it's just -- I think everything is falling through at this point the way that it probably would.

We don't do what we do to try to be noticed. We actually would probably prefer the opposite. It's awesome to hear the support that he gets from fans for sure.

Q. You and Patrick have done this before, and you're going against a couple of rookies. How do you think that will affect the dynamic of this match, especially in the early stages?
JORDAN SPIETH: You know, if we can use experience to our advantage, which in a day like tomorrow, we certainly can. We're capable of using experience as an advantage, given it looks like it's going to gust up to 20-miles-an-hour winds in alternate-shot format on a pretty difficult track that's getting firmer, where par becomes a good score and placement off the tee becomes massive. If we are patient with that and we don't kind of, you know, let things get haywire early, I think it's a huge advantage for us. But the mental side of things is very important for our team going into tomorrow in general.

Q. Is your driving and putting going to be the key for you personally this week?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I've been striking the ball well with my iron play and wedge play has been pretty solid. A day like tomorrow, when the winds are up, there's not much rough, but if you can be in the fairway or just into the rough with good angles, you have a huge advantage. You can really gather a multiple-hole advantage off the tee tomorrow.

Q. You said you didn't feel quite sharp last week at the TOUR Championship --
JORDAN SPIETH: It was just putting. Sp I've been working quite a bit on it and will continue to after we're done here.

Q. Two players from Latin America, how do you see that and what do you think they contribute?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it's fantastic, and two from very different parts of South America. They both represented in the Olympics. So it's been a really fun ride the last couple of years for them. I know they are excited to represent their countries for the international squad and they have a lot of support behind them. I think it's fantastic.

Q. Phil is at 23 Cups. What are the odds of you playing 23 Cups -- what has to happen, and what impresses you about it?
JORDAN SPIETH: What has to happen is staying healthy and staying -- well, staying good, staying driven. To go through life the way he has and put family first, yet still being able to become one of the Top-10 and for the most part top couple golfers in the country is really remarkable.

And I don't know what life is going to bring me. I know I'm in a position to potentially break his records considering I started a little earlier than him. But I'm not sure where my priorities are going to be. I imagine it will be similar to Phil and just a matter of if I can would, my way on to teams but that will be later on in life. For now it's staying injury free and doing what we're doing.

Q. When is the last injury you had --
JORDAN SPIETH: I almost trip every day. I haven't had any injuries that kept me from playing golf fortunately. I broke my little finger back when I was 12, 13. But little things, foot acts up, lower back, tightness, nothing major.

Q. What did you do to your finger?
JORDAN SPIETH: Jammed it throwing the football with some older kids, and he threw a gun at me and it just broke -- I was in a cast, long time ago.

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