home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 26, 2018

Jordan Spieth

Guyancourt, France

NEIL AHERN: Thank you, Jordan, for coming back to join us. You're defending a title from two years ago, but how different is an away Ryder Cup experience?

JORDAN SPIETH: Very. Yeah, very different. I loved 2014. I thought probably the most nerve-wracking tee shot I've ever hit was in 2014. It's one of the coolest moments of my golf career was getting started there, and playing an away game, but representing your country in The Ryder Cup. I mean, growing up as a golfer, that's an ultimate goal for us.

It hasn't disappointed. If anything, it's been underappreciated by players -- not underappreciated, but understated by players ahead of the tournament. It lives up and passed its hype.

NEIL AHERN: You were here in July and saw the course, but it's different at the moment. How is it shaping up?

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, the rough. We were able to play out of the rough in July. If you miss the fairway, you're likely not going to be able to hold the green, and with a lot of greens surrounded by water, you're actually having to really kind of almost lay up out of the rough.

So tee balls are key here.

Q. You talk about that first tee shot at Gleneagles. How far ahead of time do you start thinking about that shot?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, I don't think of it the same way anymore. It was the first one, and it happened to be away soil.

The first tee shot at Hazeltine -- first tee shot at Hazeltine felt different. It was a different experience. I'm sure this will be closer to that one, just knowing that we'll hear the Europe chants and the Ole! Ole! Ole! chants on the driving range whenever we're teeing off an hour ahead of time.

And this tee shot's as difficult a first tee shot as we've probably played the entire season. That adds to it. But it won't be till kind of that morning that you'll be thinking of the first tee ball, and you've got a partner with you this time. It's not foursomes. And it will be really cold, so I'll probably hit driver, which is a good thing -- bigger head, better.

Q. Obviously you can't be held responsible for this given your age, but 25 years since the U.S. won on this side of the Atlantic. You're a pretty clear and strong analyst. Can you come up with a reason, if there's just one reason, as to why that long gap and long wait might have happened?
JORDAN SPIETH: I would put it simply that they won more holes, they made more putts. I mean, seriously.

As far as our team's concerned, there's only a couple guys that have any kind of scar tissue on playing on away soil, and those guys have won a combined 120-something times and account for 20 majors. I mean, we're not worried about the two older guys on the team that have scar tissue.

The rest of us are simply here and looking at this week as an opportunity for us to show that the golfers from the United States can beat the golfers from Europe, and we can do it over here. That's the goal. I've won one and lost one. So whether it's here, there, the point is, whoever makes more putts, whoever shoots lower scores typically wins these matches, and our team is extremely solid and have been playing very well. So if we stay out of our own way and continue to play the way our team has been playing, we believe that will be good enough and take care of itself, and no other thought is anywhere else.

Q. How different will this be from past courses?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, I don't think so. I'm speaking from my own point of view. It's one of the more difficult golf courses that we'll play all year. So it will play very different from Hazeltine, and a bit different from Gleneagles, but nothing that is totally unusual for us to see, and the crowds -- you know, they are going to be very European, and anything that gets to you, you're in control of, anyways.

Again, goes back to, we stay in our own lane and we focus on the stuff that we keep talking about in the team room, and we're going to get out and put ourselves in a mental opportunity for the game to take care of the rest.

Q. What do you recall about being a rookie, and your first time doing this in 2014, Europe has five -- you have a couple, three. Is that an advantage, disadvantage to have more rookies, and what do you remember about the experience and what advice do you have for the young guys or the other guys?
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't think it means much. I don't think that it's any kind of a disadvantage at all. If anything, it could be an advantage, guys that are even more excited to get out and kind of see what it's like and get that excited, be paired with somebody.

I don't know how much team golf with a partner that Bryson or Tony has played. I know obviously Justin with last year and some Walker Cups, and Bryson has done the same, but just having that guy next to you and rooting for you, and being in the team room and looking at these guys to your right and your left, understanding that they are on your side this week for a common goal.

If anything, it can be advantageous to be a rookie. I don't think there's any disadvantage at all.

Again, these are guys that have either won majors or had chances to win at the highest level, or certainly have won at the highest level. I don't think a little extra noise, cheering for the other side will tone down their ability to be able to perform; and therefore, I don't see, based on my experience from 2014, being paired with another rookie, it seemed to light a fire for us. Once we got out there and loved kind of the way that camaraderie worked out, we were able to roll.

Q. Who is behind the business of the Bubba glove, and can you just flush out any other unusual requirements you guys have today?
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't even know anything about it. He just was in the locker room and said, "I think I'm going to wear my glove in media."

Is there something else?

Q. He said he was told to wear it.
JORDAN SPIETH: He was? He may have been. I don't know. Anything else unusual? Not particularly.

Q. You've been given special words to use in the press conferences?
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't think so. (Laughter).

Q. Maybe you're not on message?
JORDAN SPIETH: My agent is not even in Europe, so I've got nobody in my ear. I have Zach Johnson in my ear. That's about it. (Laughter).

Q. You didn't want an extra week off, but you had it. Wondering how you took advantage of that? Did you rest a little more? Were there certain things that you worked on or thought about leading up to this week?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I took the in-between week off completely, and then I took THE TOUR Championship week to slowly kind of progress each day, do a little bit more, and I was progressing nicely through the Playoffs. My game was in the best state that it had been in until BMW and I kind of just ran out of gas there. I should have taken more breaks in the Playoffs this year, and I went something like 26 or 28 days from before New York through that Saturday afternoon of BMW, of at least six-hour days on the course and gym, and I just -- I kind of got real quick with the swing and just didn't play well at BMW.

But I was able to get that rest, look back on the progression that was being made and continue that going forward.

So I don't wish that it happened considering it was the end of season. If it was the middle of the season, I would have looked at it like a blessing in disguise. But I certainly wish I was at East Lake, no question. If anything, I will not take that week for granted and work that much harder not to miss it again.

Q. When it comes to facing that 6,000-plus crowd at the first tee here, how much, if at all, will it help having played the 16th hole at the Phoenix Open a few times? Is there any kind of correlation in getting comfortable with that environment?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think there is, but just in the walk to the tee. Because the 16th in Phoenix, you see that stadium the entire way.

When we get on the tee box on the first hole here, you're almost in kind of a u-shaped ditch that's been dug into the hill and the grandstands are pretty far removed from the first tee. So certainly it will be loud because of amounts of people there versus Phoenix, if you went there right now, versus when the tournament's there, it's a completely different golf hole.

So there's only a small little grandstand I think off the left side of the first tee, and so compared to Gleneagles and Hazeltine, I think it will feel like more open space to be honest.

Q. Whether it was highlights or whether you watched it live, what did you make of the scene on Sunday with Tiger winning, and did it affect you emotionally at all?
JORDAN SPIETH: I thought it was a matter of time, the way he's been playing. He's been playing at a level that can win any golf tournament for the majority of the summer.

He went to a place he's won a couple other times and really got his putter rolling. You could see when he's starting to walk those putts in inside ten feet, that kind of like Tiger-step that we all naturally try and copy growing up; when you start seeing that, you understand the confidence is there on the greens. That's all that was missing was that week where he was top three or whatever in strokes gained putting. He had been chipping the ball really well and his striking's been awesome.

The scene coming up the 18th was pretty amazing. Having been in, I guess a situation, similar, and it wasn't anything like that when I was walking up the 18th hole, you see what you already knew, which is that he moves the needle, and you saw the reaction from not only golf fans anywhere, but also just your average sports fan and your other athletes and other media outlets.

It's different. I was a little bit -- I was nervous for them when the fairways started to collapse around he and Rory because you've got guys on a Sunday afternoon, boozed up, when it's hot out, just running, wanting to -- and now when you get the phones out and everything, it just seemed like a lot. I'm glad that they were able to sneak through everybody and get to that green.

It was a pretty incredible scene.

Q. Just to follow up on Tiger, he looks to be enjoying himself during the practise rounds out there. How much is he enjoying being part of this team? Although this is obviously a team event, how good is it for you guys to have him back at his best?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I think even he would tell you, he's not necessarily at his best he's ever been. But just back in form, good enough to win, which is kind of scary that it's not even his best; still winning golf tournaments.

I mean, it seemed somewhat normal. I'm not sure. Yeah, I think everybody's been enjoying themselves a lot. It hasn't seemed any different from other rounds that we've played.

But knowing that he's on your side when you tee it up, and he's hitting the ball as well as he is, and then, you know, the intimidation factor that he can bring to it I certainly would say is measurable, not necessarily off his team Ryder Cup experience, but when you look at players in his group when he's playing well, it's a different bottom line than his score.

So you ought to think that if you get him in the right setting out here in a team atmosphere and playing well, that will make a difference.

Q. Can winning an event as part of a team make it feel like a successful year for you as an individual?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I think if I came out and played really solid golf this week, I would feel like I accomplished a lot this year. I would feel like I went to places where I needed to build back up and learn a lot from my own game, and Ryder Cup is a situation where you're playing almost every hole with the same feel as you get on a major championship Sunday in contention.

So to be able to put those to test, and if I can do so successfully, I'll feel like I gained a lot out of it. The years after I've played in Ryder Cups have been phenomenal years for me. I look at this week as very important going forward for next season.

Q. You're playing this week at a place that's set up very difficult. As a competitor, does it seem odd at all to stage it on a place with tough setup?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I don't think you'll go anywhere else where you'll see as many fist-pump pars as you'll see this week, especially in the afternoon foursomes when the wind picks up. It was windy yesterday and we were playing best-ball and there weren't that many birdies outside the par 5s.

I don't think there will be as many roars. There will be your -- you'll know who won holes, when holes are won. But there were a lot of putts made at Hazeltine, which you know, from any change, six to 30 feet. That was really exciting.

But this is a unique and exciting test for us players. It may not be as exciting for the fans that are there watching. Obviously if their side is winning, they are going to be as excited, but you know what I mean, like the loud roars off of made putts, you just won't see that many birdie opportunities as we saw at Hazeltine just because if you miss the fairway, you're fighting for par.

NEIL AHERN: Jordan, thank you very much. Have a great week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297