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March 27, 2019

Jordan Spieth

Austin, Texas

Q. Jordan Spieth walks away with a tie today. You were 3-down early in this match. You came back and fought with a birdie at the last. You said to me prior to this interview it felt like a win, why?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I didn't lead at all during the entire match. Billy rolled in 120 feet of putts the first ten holes or so, and we were both trying to hold on as we got into the wind on the back nine. 2-down and three to play, to birdie the last two holes is really big for me right now as I'm looking to gain confidence under pressure and kind of test some of the stuff I've been working on. I was telling Michael it feels like in this match play format it feels like you're battling to try to win a golf tournament on a Saturday or Sunday towards the end of these matches.

So it was really cool to kind of hit some clutch shots and pull off a tie there with 2-down and three to go.

Q. Do you feel validated with all this stuff you've been working on, to come back and tie this match?
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm not looking to be validated or not validated, I'm just looking for progress. And I've made progress. And today was the best that I think -- kind of the best as far as the finish goes, the best I've played under pressure in a little while. And I haven't really been in the position to play under pressure for a little while. It was great to see that. That could certainly serve me well not only to the rest of this tournament but as we look in the next few weeks.

Q. How rewarding is it to come from 3-down in that match to get something out of it?
JORDAN SPIETH: It was big. He was winning the holes. He was making a lot of really long putts through the early part of that front nine. And luckily I had holes to go after that. And we did a good job of not letting that bother me. If he's going to shoot seven or eight under, I'm going to try to shoot six and make progress in that form.

So once I kind of tied the matchup through 9, it was go time. I had some momentum. And it was really nice, 2 down with 3 to go, to salvage a tie. Felt like a win for sure.

Q. Birdie, birdie finish. We know the results haven't quite matched what you want. You've had to be patient so far this year. Is that a sort of bumpy confidence that you need right now?
JORDAN SPIETH: It certainly is a bumpy confidence, yeah. There's no like spark that all of a sudden you just -- it's progress. One day at a time. One shot at a time. We're keeping our head down and trying to do that.

Q. Fun start?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I took a break to think about it on No. 12 tee box and the only hole -- we had tied 2 and 3. Every other hole was won by somebody. He just started out, he made everything. He was on. And I had a really -- my bunker shot on 7 was huge. I was looking at a really tough spot there. I was about to be 4-down through 6, hit a great wedge in there. Almost 4-down through 7, turned that to 2-down. 2-down through 7 is way different than 4-down. So that really, 6, 7, 8 stretch there was the only chance I had of tying or winning this match. It was real nice to hit some shots under pressure in the end and make a couple of birdies to finish.

Q. When you're 3-down through 5 and 2 down through 15 and you come back and halve the match, how much confidence does that give you for your game tomorrow?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, it's just an experience that I'll be in that position at some point again, and I can draw back on it. I can't remember the last time I've been 2 down with 3 to go, or dormie two or whatever it may be, and tie or win a match. So I've got that now. Billy birdied 17 or else I won the match. But he also made his putt to win on 16.

So it was a really good battle. I think we both played well. We had a couple of bad holes, one bad hole each. But a lot of birdies between the two of us on this golf course, which is always fun. Again, feels like a win to me. If I were on his side of things, that's kind of a tough go. But real nice, again, like I said, at the end to feel that kind of pressure you feel on a Sunday and be able to pull off the shots.

Q. (Inaudible).
JORDAN SPIETH: Sure. And had I lost, had Billy birdied the last, I'd feel the same way I feel right now. And I mean that. I'm still in control of my destiny in this tournament. But if I finish birdie, birdie like that, almost birdie, birdie, birdie, just barely missed one on 16, it makes no difference to me because I'm looking for progress week to week right now. And I made it today by the finish there.

So certainly the tie is nice for this tournament but overall confidence booster.

Q. For someone who is involved in Special Olympics, what is your thought about the government defunding Special Olympics?
JORDAN SPIETH: I didn't see that. I haven't seen that.

Q. Your mother was pretty vocal about it on Twitter.
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, I haven't been on my Twitter in about a year, so I'm not sure. I'll have to do some research before commenting, but then I'll let you know.

Q. Can you describe your shot on 14, your second shot.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it was just sitting on some twigs and I thought I would get it out, either be in the fairway bunker, potentially in the fairway. I got the fairway bunker ten yards up would be the same percentage chance of getting up and down as taking a drop. And if I got it to the fairway, that would be an advantage. And it just rolled off the bunker and came back in like a duck footprint. It was like an animal, like a bird. It was sitting half plugged in a little bird print in the bunker. So I was out of luck then.

Was it the right decision? If I had it again -- Billy is on the green trying to two-putt, I need to try to make four. My easiest chance would be closer to the green, so I'd probably do the same thing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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