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September 5, 2018
JOHN BUSH: We're joined by Jordan Spieth here at the BMW Championship.
Jordan, you enter the week No. 27 in the FedExCup standings and I know you have a good challenge so we've got some work ahead of you this week to advance to East Lake.
Comment on being here at the BMW.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I'm excited. Been progressing, game feels pretty good. Just try to stay the path going forward. And I played 9 holes here. It's a course that I like the set-up, I like the slopes on the greens, the amount of movement that will be on the putts and also trying to feed it in with shorter irons in the greens.
It's going to be an exciting, probably lower scoring but exciting golf course.
So, try and just continue to build momentum this week and, if that's the case, then I'll end up at East Lake, a place that I've had a good history and try to continue to do the same there.
JOHN BUSH: Just recap your season up to this point, if you can, please.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah. I had an opportunity to win two of the Majors on Sunday, which is cool. That's kind of my goal at the beginning of every year, win a couple Majors, try to have a chance on Sunday and the ball didn't fall my way this year as it had previous years but putting myself in position at the biggest stage is exciting going forward and then feel like the last two months I've learned a lot about my game, made a lot of progress that will serve me even better than before going forward.
That's kind of where my mind is now, it's very positive on the work that's been done over the last couple months and I've got, you know, three events in this season left ideally and they're all extremely exciting events that have an opportunity to cap off or at least continue this good work I've been putting together.
JOHN BUSH: Thank you. We'll open it up to questions.
Q. When is the last time were you on the bubble?
JORDAN SPIETH: Probably 2014, maybe. I'm not sure. I may not have been. Maybe rookie year.
Q. What kind of bubble was it, do you remember?
JORDAN SPIETH: I might have been like on the East Lake bubble. I needed to play well. Rookie year I finished 4th at Deutsche Bank so that -- I wouldn't have been on the bubble starting the BMW but at least going in not necessarily into East Lake starting out.
So, obviously want to play every event you can on the PGA TOUR. So, I'm not sure.
Q. Jordan, you have ties to this area. Are you going to have family and some friends here, anything like that, some of your relatives that will be here and, if so, is there any extra excitement and buildup for a tournament in the Philadelphia area with so many ties here?
JORDAN SPIETH: I have mixed feelings here. People don't like me being from Dallas. My parents grew up in Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem area and I have family that lives in Philadelphia.
We'll have my parents will be here and we'll have aunts, uncle, grandparents out, which is always really cool.
Q. Were they Eagles fans and you're a Cowboys fan?
JORDAN SPIETH: My uncle lives here in Philly he's a big Eagle fan. We've texted a number of years going back -- we talk a lot more but every game day is an affair with us, too and I've already -- I was out for a practice round yesterday and there was only a few people watching and people just yelling at me, "Jordan, how about the Eagles?" I'm like, "I get it. Good job. Congrats, man" (laughter).
I don't work for the Cowboys. I'm born and raised in Dallas. Can't hate a person for being a fan of their home town team. Anyway, so I'm sure that won't be last time I hear it this week.
If you don't respond, they'll yell it louder and louder and louder. So, finally just like, "Yes, I get it. Thank you."
Q. I don't know how to follow that up.
What is the importance and what kind of urgency are you putting on what has been a standing appointment for you at East Lake?
What would the disappointment be if you don't make it back there?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah. I think that it would be -- it's a fantastic opportunity to not only to try to win the FedExCup but it's a very difficult golf course and a great.tournament that then gets you better prepared for the next week at the Ryder Cup.
So, you obviously have to go about your business in a better way. I haven't missed it so I don't really know, but the idea is just to do what I did the last couple weeks, try and win this golf tournament.
My mind is not set -- it will not be set on any kind projections, I promise you that. It's not do or die for me.
Q. Is it safe to say you don't have any current plans to what would happen if this week doesn't go your way and you have maybe an extra week of Ryder Cup prep?
JORDAN SPIETH: I probably be in Dallas. I think we planned on going over no matter what. There will be guys on the team that aren't at East Lake, I think. I think everyone is supposed to fly over Sunday night from Atlanta.
So, I would probably just be in Dallas with another week of practice.
Q. I'm curious how much interaction, if any, you had when Bryson was at SMU. I don't know if you had that much with him because you were --
JORDAN SPIETH: Not much when he was at SMU.
We do practice at the same course now. I remember being on the range with Bryson before the Northern Trust this year and we had probably a 30 minute discussion, just kind of about stuff we were doing in our swings -- maybe it was 40 minutes.
He told me he kind -- he built his swing and kind of lot of it around Los Angeles, around Riviera. He hadn't figured out how to get it back until just then. He said he was finding it that week, he finally had figured it out and God knows what he's talking about.
Q. Do you understand everything he says, especially when he goes into --
JORDAN SPIETH: To an extent, yeah. I think he phrases stuff differently than he needs to at times but the belief in what he's doing is very important in this game and when you're that exact on what you're trying to do, to aim miss ball type mentality.
When you're that exact and you feel the slightest bit off you're trying to fine-tune to the Nth degree. That's what it's about, the best miss in this sport.
He's got a way about his game that is fine-tuning extreme, extreme small kind of millimeter amount within different parts of his swing.
There's a lot of ways to go about the way you swing the club. He likes his way, he's found a way to get it down to that level and when it's at that level -- I've been in a similar situation before where you're running -- you're swinging really, really well.
He's at kind of what he likes to call an end range of motion. If he really finds where it's at, this is a sustainable thing for him for a long time versus maybe other guys, including myself at times where you can then take time off, come back and not quite find that end range and try your own end range trying to get it back.
I wouldn't look for anything to change soon with Bryson. I feel like he's really figured out what he's doing right now.
Q. Jordan, what sense do you get among the younger players on the Ryder Cup team that if given the opportunity to be paired with Tiger they would relish it?
I realize there's probably some set parings already but, if given the opportunity, how much do you sense guys would want to do that?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think it's universal. I think it's -- we've got a good idea of who will be paired with him. There will be two, three different guys that can be and chomping at the bit, young guys are absolutely.
To get an opportunity to play with Tiger or Phil in a Ryder Cup match, it's stuff you tell your kids or grandkids some day. It's pretty awesome. So, I'm not sure if I'm going to get that opportunity, I'm not sure if that's the way it works within the team but we're going to figure out who is going to be the best fit for everyone and I think we're going to be more prepared earlier than we've ever been going Overseas to a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup.
The young guys we have are actually very experienced in high tense situations. So, that helps.
Q. I was just going to ask, given the recent debuts of you, Patrick, Brooks, Thomas Pieters, is experience in the Ryder Cup as important as it once was or is it now in this new era of young fearless players a little bit diminished?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think experience you know, if -- the way it feels to me based on -- seeing the Golf Channel or as we're walking around or just what you're asked by media, it seems like it's 50 percent of it but I think it's 15 percent of it.
I think certainly there's help to getting started and getting in the mix but within our team just about everybody has had Major championship experience, in the hunt and it's a similar feeling, and so I think form is more important than experience overall for a course of three days.
I think you can draw on experience, it can certainly help but I don't think to the extent that it is sometimes pushed.
Q. Jordan, this is kind of the flip side of Bob's question, I remember last year you said you were glad when Tiger followed your group because sort of an intimidation factor with the opponents are having to be in front of the greatest of all time.
The dynamic change when he's a player for guys that maybe you know weren't on the last teams that he was on --
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm sorry, that cut out. Last question.
Q. For the European players maybe the younger European players, like did --
JORDAN SPIETH: It's got to be something there I think the home crowd will help. I think if playing over here and having -- if I were a young European player and I was going to play Ryder Cup in the States, you've got an away game, you're playing against Tiger and you haven't really seen a whole lot of him or at least him playing as well as he's playing right now four, five years, I should say just healthy Tiger, right, that would be something that would make it more difficult, absolutely.
So, yeah, he adds something to it. He certainly moves the needle in every sense of the game so. So it's good to have him in our corner for sure.
Q. What role did last year Presidents Cup and the way you guys won that play in kind of the development of this U.S. team?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think just added a bit of confidence. Kind of sped up that confidence that were taken from '15 and '16. And then I think kind of the relaxed way we were before, being in New York, seeing One World Trade, seeing the Statue of Liberty everyday, having that kind bigger meaning whatever we're doing there and feeling like one team in an individual sport was important and something we can certainly take into -- into trying to get that same kind of feel as we go to Paris.
I think it did a bit for us for sure and allowed some of the younger guys an opportunity to have another team event under their belts including myself.
JOHN BUSH: Few more.
Q. I'm from Atlanta so excuse another East Lake question, but given your history there, you start the season and assume you'll be at the Tour Championship.
How surprised are you to find yourself in that position to scramble to make it there?
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm actually inside the number right now, you might forget. So, I don't know about the scrambling. But I just have to play normal.
Yeah, I mean each year you pick a schedule and I have essentially assumed, based on the previous years, that that would be a part of it and have a chance to win the FedExCup:
Each year I've had an opportunity to win the FedExCup at the end of the year. It's certainly highlighted as so and a goal. This year at this current state I'm in a more difficult position to win the FedExCup than I've been in the last five, six years. At some point in your career you'll be stuck in a position that's more difficult than other years.
So embrace the challenge and try and go out and work my way into the Top-10 this week would be the goal because outside the Top-10 it's difficult to win the FedExCup.
Q. Jordan, last time the tournament was here, 2011, 3 of the top 4 most difficult holes were the par-3s, over 215 yards.
Just talk about your mental preparation or your game plan head going into those.
JORDAN SPIETH: I played two of them. They're definitely the meat of the golf course and they'll force you to try and feed 5, 4 irons into difficult hole locations because you can feed them in there.
The slopes kind of work towards the holes where a good shot from 215-yard is rewarded. But from what I've seen on those holes thus far, in the middle of the green never hurts you, recognize they're the harder holes, take your 3, run and you have par-5s and some wedges into par-4s to make some birdies.
You just kind of inch your way. Consistent golf is what I'm trying to do. Last week I did it for the first three rounds and pressed a little bit on Sunday trying to do a little much around the middle of the round.
But you know, 4-under a round could win this tournament. You're going to get opportunities to make at least four birdies a round. Just limit the mistakes.
Q. Jordan, golf been great for you and you have career already. People in France, golf is very little. Do you have any message to send to expand golf?
JORDAN SPIETH: I'd say in a few weeks it's not really a big deal, you can kind of stay home and just enjoy maybe a day-out on the town, don't worry about coming, we're just over there playing an exhibition.
No, I mean the idea, I think I personally really enjoy the idea of being able to go somewhere and that maybe influences two people to want to play more golf because I love the game so much, and so to go somewhere where maybe it's not as big as it is in other countries right around it, if you have the opportunity to go over there and show your enjoyment for the game and maybe that affects a couple people, that's really cool. That's really cool for me personally.
So, although we are the away team, I played the Ryder Cup in Europe already and the fans were spectacular, they were fantastic. They were respectful, they were very much passionate about their own team but also were very appreciative of solid golf and people kind of going about it the way, having a good sense of humor and enjoying themselves.
So, if we kind of keep our eyes on that and the bigger picture I think personally for me, you affect a couple people, it goes a long way.
JOHN BUSH: Jordan Spieth, thank you for your time, sir.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports