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July 25, 2009
BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY
Q. Jordan, it's been a long week. And sort of into last year, how are you feeling now? What are your emotions?
JORDAN SPIETH: It hasn't sank in yet to be honest with you. It will later on tonight. But right now it's unbelievable.
Because coming down the stretch, I mean, everything just went so fast, you know. The last few holes I went from one up to dormie in just a few holes. So obviously I'm really happy right now. You know, that I've accomplished what I've been waiting to accomplish for a year after getting shut down last year.
Q. What did you do after last year? After you got eliminated in the semis, did you sort of make it a point to go back, work harder, come back and be in this position?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, definitely. This is the biggest junior golf tournament in the world. So at the beginning of the year you're thinking about how you're going to prepare for that tournament.
And I think what last year did was just experience helped my emotions when I was coming down the stretch. Because last year I don't think I handled it too well. I got too pumped up or remained down on myself. I remained neutral and it helped. When I came down, I was just playing one more round.
Q. Can you think of the specific time today where that experience kicked in for you? Where you maybe reflected about last year and how it helped you today?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, when the putt went in on 13, and I went to 3 up with 5 to play I think it was. You know, I was pumped up. I gave it a fist pump when I went in. And I went to the next hole. When I was walking up that hill to go to the next hole, I told myself you need to calm down. I know you're pumped up, but this match isn't over yet. You know, he's a great player, so anything could happen.
If you calm down and hit one good shot here and try to get going, it will be a lot easier on on yourself. So I had the a shot right where I wanted it to. Unfortunately I didn't want to see him lose it like that by hitting it in the water. I would have rather made the putt to win the hole. But it's Match Play, so you've got to take advantage of what it gives you.
Q. Can you go through the sequence? You're one up with eight to play. And I believe you won 11, 13 and 14?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah. I won, yeah, 11, when I was on 11, he hit a shot, and I didn't know how close it was from where we were, but it looked good. So, well, there's the shot right there, anyway. But I couldn't see it from my angle.
But he went over and he picked the ball up threw it back to me. And that shot was huge. That third shot was a major turning point in the match because he had one, and I thought he was going to make birdie. We walked up. He threw me my ball, and then missed his putt. So I went to the next hole. I said you've got to close the deal.
On this hole right here, he hit a great shot in. And unfortunately missed his four-footer. Then I got to the shot in on the next hole.
Q. On that third shot on 11, you gave up a little wedge?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, 70 yards off the down and it's wet. So in the back of your mind you're thinking this is chunk heaven. And there's water. I told myself you've got to cut across, hit down on it. If it hits on the green it will spin.
And I hit it how I wanted to, and it looked like it was going to be a little short. I was telling it to get up. It took one big hop, and disappeared behind the lip of the bunker, so I couldn't tell. And everyone clapped and handed it back to me.
Q. Was that a 56Â°?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, 60.
Q. It seemed like there was a lot of friendliness between you two guys. It was cool to see. Where did that come from, and what was it like for you guys?
JORDAN SPIETH: I hadn't met him before. But when I you saw him after the semifinal match, he was all smiles. You know, we met each other then, and today we were telling each other good luck before the round and stuff.
Even after the match he made a great birdie putt, and you know, what looked like to keep it going. When my putt went in, he came up and he said my putt was good, but your putt was better. So, you know, he showed a lot of class in that back nine even though I got a few breaks going my way. He didn't let it slip.
He had a few bad breaks today. He had quite a few lip outs that I think hurt him coming down.
Q. When his ball went in in the water on 14, were you telling yourself you've got the match now? Was there ever a point?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, 14, when that happened. Unless he holed out from the drop spot. I was below the hole. Just lagged it up there. When you're dormie with four holes to play in the finals of a national championship like that, I mean, it's just so difficult to come back from. So when that happened, I told myself hit the 3-wood on the par 5. Just lay-up, make a par and you win. And he made a birdie. You know and my fell.
So instead of parring to win the hole, you get the birdie and that looks better for everyone else.
Q. And then the final par when he sank his first, you came on top of it. What went through your mind when you knew you won?
JORDAN SPIETH: I saw the putt tracking. I just told myself stay up, stay up, stay up. And I knew it stayed up with about a foot left.
So just all kinds of things just rush in my mind. I can't really explain it to be honest with you. But I turned around to my caddy and said, you know, we did it. And gave a big old fist pump. You know, the biggest tournament I've ever won. I just can't wait to come back next year.
Q. What is your caddy's name?
JORDAN SPIETH: Mike Abel. He's a local caddy here. He did a fantastic job all week.
Q. You told me this morning that he had read something about you in "Sports Illustrated". And he said I see a 15-year-old kid this good with my local knowledge I can make him even better is what he told me this morning. What do you feel about that?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, I guess he did it. I mean, I don't know. He knew exactly in the practice rounds he told me everything that I wanted to hear. Where all the breaks were on the greens that only local knowledge would know.
During the rounds I tried to do a lot on my own and have him just reinforce what I was saying on the greens. But other than that he was great in reinforcing it. That's really all that I really wanted out of a caddy here. You know, he's responded to everything I wanted. Kept me positive.
Especially in the round of 32 and 16, when it got ugly outside. I was losing both matches. I mean, he kept me in it. I don't know if I would have won the matches without him.
Q. Take today out of the equation, what is the toughest match you had?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, the one that went 19 holes. I was 2 down through 11. And you I wasn't getting the break, and I wasn't hitting good shots either. You know got one back when he took himself out of the hole and I played it safe. I think I made one more birdie coming in. No, I parred 16.
When we went to the extra hole I told myself, this is it. You've got to win it on this first hole, because, you know, you don't want to go too far or this kid will make a putt on you.
On the first hole he actually missed a 6, 7 footer for par. And I got up-and-down from 45 yards. And, you know, that was a huge match. I won that, and that was the first time I've ever gone to match holes in Match Play.
Q. That's when you were down with three to play?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yes. 32 in the second round. And that was definitely the toughest match against Jack. He's a great player. He played great that day, too.
Q. What kind of doors do you think this is going to open up for you?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, the U.S. Amateur is coming up, so, obviously I'm excited to play in that for the first time. I haven't tried to qualify before this. Never tried. So I'm looking forward to see what competition, look at all the competition that's there.
Q. If you were offered a tour start, would you take it?
JORDAN SPIETH: Offered a tour start like to become a pro or just a start?
Q. Just to start as an average person?
JORDAN SPIETH: For sure, in a heartbeat.
Q. Knowing how hard you worked at this point you were last year and how hard you worked to get to this year, is this going to change anything going into next year's Junior Am? Or are you going to keep your foot to the gas pedal?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah. That's what anyone would do, I guess. Yeah, obviously I want to come back next year and do the same thing. But this year I saw a lot of mistakes I made that were just dumb mistakes. So, looking back on it helps. Because then obviously I can learn when I look back on what I did.
Earlier in the morning match I had two dumb three putts that he hadn't even won the hole, so I didn't need to hit it by the hole. And I hit it way by the hole and missed one coming back. It cost me the hole.
So you just look at stuff like that and then you come back next year and that extra experience is going to help a couple strokes off the bat. But I was excited after being the medalist, you know. They don't really fare too well, they hadn't in the past. And I was really excited to be able to get to the finals and I wanted to kind of end that bad streak.
Q. What is the biggest improvement on your game, be it physically or mentally from last year to this?
JORDAN SPIETH: Definitely distance off the tee. Well, here, obviously the ball's not rolling at all because it's been so wet.
But I've been able to, yeah, mentally it's just experience from last year. But physically just growing up a year more helped me be able to hit the ball out a lot further. And if I can maintain the touch that I had and the putting around the greens, it's going to be a help in adding distance.
Q. What did Trump say to you after you won?
JORDAN SPIETH: He came up and he said great playing. I'm proud of you. I can't remember. I talked to him so much since then. I can't remember what he said then. It was like great playing. It was a pleasure to watch.
Q. How far was that putt?
JORDAN SPIETH: Eight feet. I guess it's about to come on, so I'll let you know when I he see it. Yeah, it's about an 8-footer, but it was really straight. Broke a little to the right.
Q. Any thrill knowing your name's now on a trophy with Tiger Woods?
JORDAN SPIETH: I thought about that the whole round today. I thought about, you know everyone's name on there. Not just Tiger's, but Duval and all of them. Even players that won it recently like Cameron. They're still improving today and amazing players.
Q. Do you feel like your junior career would have been incomplete if you didn't get this title?
JORDAN SPIETH: No. No, I mean, this is a really tough tournament to win. Just because you have to play great golf six days in a row. And it's just so tough to do when you can run into anyone who is just clearing it in one round.
So I mean, no. If I had gone through without winning this it wouldn't -- really I wouldn't look back on on it as a bad junior career or anything like that.
But this tournament, definitely if someone asked how was injure junior career? If you tell them I won this tournament, they're like oh, all right. It's kind of self-explanatory. Like I said, this tournament is so difficult to win, it's a lot of the luck of the draw.
Q. You have a lot of support out there. Even one of your old classmates. Greg Rafeeny?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, Greg.
Q. What was it like having his support?
JORDAN SPIETH: It was great. I saw him. I knew he was moving up here. So I saw him out there, and that was pretty special to see him. I saw him, he wore a shirt from my high school. So I walked up and I was like wow he actually did come out. Because we were joking around about having him come out here.
I saw him out here. And my whole familiar Lis been out here all week. It's great. I wanted to win it for them. Taking the time to come out here. I just want to thank them now for being able to make sacrifices and get out to watch and support me.
End of FastScripts