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January 5, 2018

Jordan Spieth

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Q. Great bounce back today. How big was the bounce back at No. 6 to kind of keep this thing going and eventually shoot the score you shot?
JORDAN SPIETH: I just pulled two bad clubs early. I pulled a bad club on the second and tried to swing a fade in there and ride the wind, it was just a bad decision. And then I just pulled a club that didn't make any sense on the fifth hole with a mid iron into a par-5, hit it in the hazard.

So 6 was really nice. I walked that putt in. That's where I really felt like the stuff I've been working on in my putting was starting to come through today. It's kind of day-to-day right now for me as I try and do a lot of work in my setup. But today was a good one and I was able to start to trust my stroke.

And then I stepped into a putt on 8 and I essentially knew it was going in and that's a feeling I haven't had in quite awhile with the putter. So big step forward, a lot of progress today.

Q. That was actually my next question, because a huge turn around with the putter, but just a great day all around. You mentioned you've been doing work. Did you do work last night or did you just say, hey, let's forget it, fresh start tomorrow, or did you work on something specific between rounds?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, I didn't. And I actually barely put in any work before the round today. Typically it's nice to nail it in. But for me I just need to go back to feel and I need to see lines and hit them with the right speed and get away from the technique for the rest of the tournament, especially when you're putting in the wind out here. You just can't be technical on greens that are slower than you're used to with high winds. You just have to kind of just feel it and just hit putts a little harder than you want. And I didn't really recognize that yesterday and started to make the adjustment today.

Q. Approach shot on 17. I was shocked that that ball could stick to the front of that green and dig in. Were you surprised as well?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, a little bit, but I hit a pitching wedge in and I caught it into the breeze, so I figured it wasn't going to move much. I mis-hit it. I hit it about a groove low. If I hit it pure it would have been all over it, but I played a shot that would hit soft. I was trying to get it past the hole. D.A. said that's unlucky it didn't go. But in the air I thought, I was yelling go, because I figured it was going to stick.

Q. (No Microphone.)
JORDAN SPIETH: I just hit putts harder, got them to the hole. It was really on the greens -- yesterday I had a couple really tough breaks on 6 and 7 that I wasn't necessarily -- I didn't handle very well. I'm sorry, 7 and 8, that I didn't handle very well. And I went 1-over through eight holes and didn't really feel like I missed a shot and that was a bit frustrating.

Then today I just kind of said I'm 2-over and said, hey, if it doesn't turn out then it's just the start of the year, may as well fire at stuff. I just felt more free today, which certainly helped. I had a really rusty short game. Today was a good day for it. Doesn't mean it's back, it means that it was progress. Progress is good.

Q. How much of that, of yesterday, compared to today can you write off to being the first tournament of the year?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think quite a bit. I felt like I struck the ball better yesterday than today. I hit a couple foul balls. I had some fatigue late in the -- I got lazy with my posture and my swing, I ended up really late. I hit my drive on 14 in a backyard and the drive on 18 in a hazard on the widest fairway in golf. So it was just lazy posture and not picking specific targets and holding to it. Today I just tried to say, I was like, hey, I'm going to do less brain power today, let Michael do a lot of it on the numbers and stuff, just pick a club and fire. But make sure that each time I get over the ball I'm really focused. I just lost some focus yesterday.

Q. I hear you talking about the technique. Was that on the greens you were talking about?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, I kind of went away from it. You work technique. Technique you almost throw it out the window on a course like this in these conditions. And that's what I've always found, that's why I think I found success at this course, because it forces me to be more feel, which is better. Same way at Augusta. The slopes you hit off of and where you have to play shots. Just like an Open Championship, you just have to have more imagination and what you're doing, work more ball flights and curve. And that's better for me than your stock get to point A to point B to point C. I was doing a little bit of that yesterday, which is just the first round back. And as long as I stay on what I'm saying right now the rest of the week, I should find success, get a couple of those putts to go.

Q. We heard about your eye issue which is clearly not an issue?

Q. But did you fear at any stage that it might be?
JORDAN SPIETH: When I went to the doctor I thought maybe. I didn't really know what was up and it was bothering me a lot. But those things are normally a day. I've had kind of situations like that in the past, I didn't think it was a problem for the tournament. But I was just don't rub it when there's something in your eye. But, no, I didn't think it was anything.

Q. What was it? Sand or something?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, well it was a wedge shot I hit on the range, just flew back and I just rubbed it really hard and it scratched it. It was just -- yeah, mom always says don't rub your eye and I couldn't help it.

Q. What's the hardest part of putting out here when it's windy?
JORDAN SPIETH: Hardest part of putting this week --

Q. On the higher parts, the exposed parts.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, well, it's, the hardest part is picking the speed to hit it at, because you have to almost play for it to gust, just in case, right? You have to play for some wind but you don't want to play for the gust to affect it and miss the hole. So what I mean is, you want to hit it at a speed where if it does gust, it's still going to be okay. It's not going to runway off, it's not going to take the wind. So you probably play a little higher line when the wind is blowing, (wind noise.) Also depends on the length of the putt. The most difficult part of putting out here this week is you're uncomfortably hitting the ball hard enough. They're slower greens than we're used to. So you're over a putt from say eight feet, one that you kind of have high expectations on that you got to start outside the left edge. Now you've got to hit it uncomfortably hard and higher than what you're used to.

Yesterday I'm over the ball thinking, I'm about, if I'm hitting, if I hit this how I think I have to, to make it, I think I'm about to hit it four feet past sometimes. It's just like, it's unusual.

Q. Where were you missing most of them yesterday?
JORDAN SPIETH: Short and low. I think that's pretty normal for everybody and people are making adjustments. So I actually got above the hole a decent amount today and that's where I made my putts from.

Q. We don't know what everybody else is going to do out there. But you're back in it. Do you feel like you can play more normal than instead of, like you said, going after it today?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I think with my history on this golf course, no matter the conditions, I believe that low rounds are out there and still in the bag. I mean, in 2016 it was, I followed up 7-under, with 8-under and 9-under and 6-under. So I start getting a good feel for the course and a good feel for the speed on the greens and seeing some putts go in like I did early in the round today, if that can continue -- I was even par through five holes today and was 7-under with three holes to play, so normally those first five holes guys are 2-under or more. So I know that they can come in spurts out here for me and again it just comes down to going to feel.

Q. What was the worst shot you hit last year do you think?
JORDAN SPIETH: Probably the 8-iron in New York when I hit it in the water. I had like a 3- or 4-shot lead at the time and it kind of brought D.J. back into it and I ended up losing the tournament.

Q. Was it a bad shot or was it a bad timing? Talking about the worst, God awful shot. I mean, that wasn't terrible, was it? You didn't miss by much.
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't know. Mike, do you know? What was the worst shot I hit last year? It was a situation where I hit a club that was way too aggressive when I could have taken more and just faded it in. If I just control the ball, like if I just control it, I was going to win that tournament. So I recall that. When I look back at last year, if I want one mulligan, that was my mulligan from last year.

Q. So that tee shot at 13 at Birkdale was better than I thought. Okay.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it was.

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