March 26, 2021
Austin, Texas, USA
Austin Country Club
Q. Can you talk about what you can get from three days of competing in a match play event that maybe you couldn't get from a stroke-play event as far as confidence?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, you feel like you're competing on the weekend -- I mean, I've had a number of times where it's been me and another guy on a Sunday separated from the field, and it's kind of a little bit of that feeling even though it's not to win the golf tournament that day and you may not even play 18 holes.
You get the nerves going more so than you do on any Thursday or Friday and even most Saturdays. It feels like a Sunday in contention every single match, which you start to learn a lot more about kind of where your game is at, what you need to work on, what your tendencies are, how to continue to push forward with what you're doing.
Q. Where is your game at?
JORDAN SPIETH: I mean, luckily I've been able to test it Sunday under pressure, so it feels similar. I have not putted well here or PLAYERS. I'm chipping the ball better this week. PLAYERS I took a lot of chip shots around some holes.
These overseed greens have a lot of knobs on them and crowns where the pins are, and it just is really getting me. I like those faster greens that have more slope.
I've just had some not-so-committed. But as far as tee to green I hit all but one fairway where I hit it in the water on 13 today. Hit every single other fairway on a course where it's not easy to do.
When I look back, I'm pretty excited about that, and was able to get it in closer to some of the holes today and have some shorter length birdie putts.
Game is I think still trending upwards by the way it feels right now, but I've got to start rolling in some more putts.
Q. How does a match like that feel pressure-wise when you're up by a little bit but not enough and you're kind of constantly up by one or two? Do the nerves mount as the back nine goes along?
JORDAN SPIETH: You know what, I just didn't have -- the nerves didn't come up too much there. I want to say maybe on 16 after he hit the green with his driver, then I'm sitting there going, you've got to be kidding me. Can you not throw me a break?
He's not going to make it on, move on. I just missed about a four-footer for birdie on the previous hole, and especially after yesterday, I'm just like, let's just close one out, kind of get that bad sour taste of these last few holes out of my mouth and move on.
But before that, even on 13 I hit it in the water, lost the hole. I missed my line by like 40 yards, toeing it. It wasn't even a bad play or anything like that. I felt good about the way I was hitting it. It was more just situationally just didn't want to -- you know, the day before was just something -- a mistake I never make, and I just wanted it to be over.
Q. Over the last year you've been playing a majority of that time without fans, and to be here in Austin and have the galleries that you have, how much have you absorbed that energy?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it felt totally normal today. It didn't feel -- once you get out there and there's enough matches going on, within your group it feels like full capacity no matter what, especially as we got on to the back nine. It didn't feel any different. People are -- the weather is perfect. They want to get out of the house. They're either probably vaccinated or have had -- or are wearing a mask or whatever they have to do. I don't actually know the guidelines for fans. All I know is we're not supposed to make any personal contact with them.
People seem to be having a great time with it. It's cool at least for us inside the ropes to feel a resemblance of normalcy.
Q. This is just a general opinion on how you approach match play. When you have a short putt, whether you're the guy putting or you're the person conceding, what are the protocols for you? Do you make sure there's no confusion, because we had some out here today.
JORDAN SPIETH: I mean, the tricky part is when they miss -- if someone misses like a good look at birdie, like a five or six-footer, an eight-footer, you don't want to be rude and be like, that's good, right after they miss it, so you're like, all right, pick it up.
I'm very clear in what I say, and then I don't pick anything up unless I look over and I'm like, are you sure? I asked the first day -- maybe it was yesterday quite a few times, did you say that was good, just because of the wind and someone is walking off, and sometimes you think your voice is carrying and it doesn't.
It's no reason to kind of have an issue or losing a hole because of that. I know there's been a case -- I think Sergio had one years ago here. I don't know what you're talking about today, but I know that that's happened in this event, and it seems -- it's like making sure your scorecard is correct. It's okay to take the little bit of extra time and make sure.
But when it goes to like hanging on the lip, you want to just grab it right off the lip and hit your putt again. It gets a little tricky for sure.
Q. We've seen a lot of matches flipped over the last couple days on 16, 17, and 18. Do you think those closing three holes are really tough, and why is that?
JORDAN SPIETH: I think they're actually easier holes, and so you get -- you're saying a lot of matches going to those holes?
Q. Or just been flipped or someone is 2-up going to 17 --
JORDAN SPIETH: I think it's because you've got some birdie chances so guys in the lead are almost trying to play a little safer, and then somebody can hit -- I mean, it's normally a wedge or a 9-iron into 17, 16 is a reachable par-5, and 18 is an almost drivable par-4.
Sometimes it's like if you've got nothing to lose, those holes are actually three of the easier holes on the golf course. I think that's what makes this tournament exciting on this golf course.
You know, I've played with the lead coming into those few holes, and finally today I just said, screw it, I'm hitting 3-wood as high as I can at the pin, and it ended up working out.
Kind of got too aggressive actually all three days and got away with it twice and didn't one day.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports