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May 18, 2010

Jordan Spieth


THE MODERATOR: Jordan Spieth is joining us today. If you would talk about making your first PGA TOUR start and the course conditions.
JORDAN SPIETH: I've been coming here to this tournament since I was five years old, so I've always wanted to play in this event, and for it to be my first TOUR stop obviously is incredible. I didn't think it would come this young.
The course is the best that I've ever seen it. I haven't been out here for the tournament in the past few years but I get out here quite often throughout the year just playing with friends. It's in unbelievable condition right now and I'm sure it's only going to get better.
THE MODERATOR: You played a round with Justin Leonard this morning, and can you talk about that? If he gave you any advice on your first start?
JORDAN SPIETH: I've got to know Justin pretty well, I've practiced with him a few times out at Brook Hollow, where my instructor is, and he invited me to play with him and a couple other guys today. The advice he was giving me, the pin misses, and so forth, it helps, but he's just a great guy, does anything he can to help out.

Q. What's your best score here?
JORDAN SPIETH: To be honest, I don't know, normally when I play here it's some kind of game that I'm playing with my friends so I don't finish out I guess. I couldn't tell you a score that I've posted here.

Q. Besides the advice on playing the course, what have the veterans told you about how to handle your first event?
JORDAN SPIETH: To be honest, I haven't spoken with a lot of PGA TOUR guys here so far. I haven't talked to a lot of them about that, but just from other people that I've talked to, it's really -- you've got to think of it as another tournament. Obviously with what we're doing here and all the interviews and cameras and the big guys out there, all the manufacturers, it's quite a bit different than anything I've ever seen before.
But once you get on the course, if you're just thinking you've got a 7-iron in your hand and you've got to think of it as something you're hitting on a driving range, a shot that you've hit thousands of times and not make it bigger than it needs to be.

Q. The high school meet last week wasn't anything like this?
JORDAN SPIETH: Not quite, no. (Laughter.)

Q. I was wondering if you got any -- if you had any -- along the lines you're talking about -- nervousness at all on the driving range or anything?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, the first tee box, the last two days I've felt the nerves just getting ready for -- I'm anxious, put it this way I'm ready for Thursday to start, but when you're on the range you're excited but you're just warming up, getting ready for the round.
Not so much on the range or the putting green but when you're out on the course, you've got to think about what you're doing and not what everyone else is thinking about what you're doing. You're playing golf. You're out there trying to learn about the course, getting ready for the tournament.

Q. What kind of expectations do you have for yourself this week?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, I mean --

Q. As far as however many rounds, making the cut, that sort of thing?
JORDAN SPIETH: Nobody that's here enters a tournament if they don't think they can win, at least in their own minds think they can win, and obviously I know the percentage chances of me winning an event like this right now, but anything can happen. People have won as amateurs before and making the cut -- looking back, making the cut would be something special in itself, but obviously you try and get it going and see where that takes you. It's all about momentum out here. See where it goes.

Q. Jordan, do you put it out of your mind that you're only 16 years old? You've played a lot of golf, but now you're in a field of professionals. How do you handle that? Do you just look at it, I'm here I'm going to do what I can?
JORDAN SPIETH: Exactly. When I'm out there I don't think of myself as a 16 year old; I think of myself as a competitor in this tournament, just like everyone else is. These guys have -- everyone here has more experience than me, but it's a game of momentum, at least for me out here. You start getting it going and making a few putts, you might get it to where nothing can stop you. See how it goes.

Q. Obviously haven't seen difficult pin placements or anything like that, but has there been anything eye-opening about the course set-up? Like you were playing high school golf last week. Length of holes, things like that?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's definitely different. I've played this course from this length before. Every time we come out here with friends or just any members out here we always play as far back as we can go, so it's -- length isn't surprising. And they said they're going to move up 2 and 3, pretty sure, for the tournament, which will help a little bit.
The length isn't really an issue, the greens are -- like I said, everything is in pristine condition right now so when the course is like that, you can make some putts out there and you can hit some shots and get in there close. Nothing is eye opening just because I've played enough rounds on the course to be used to it by now.

Q. The last high school guy I can remember playing in this was Tiger when he was in high school. Do you look back -- were you aware of that? If so, do you look back at what he did in his first Nelson and use that as a barometer or give it a second thought?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, I know Tiger played in it when he was in high school, but I don't know what he did or how he did.

Q. He missed the cut.
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, hopefully we'll change that.

Q. Tony Romo didn't get a chance to play here. You had a chance to play with them in South Carolina and your friends, your thoughts on Tony not being able to be here as well?
JORDAN SPIETH: I was fortunate enough to catch him out here when my coach and I were practicing a couple of Mondays ago, and he came out with Miles Austin and another friend, and we played a few holes with them. He's an unbelievable guy and it killed him not to be able to play that Monday qualifier.
Obviously he knows what is more important to him and we all know what's more important to him, and I'm a die hard Cowboys fan. I'm happy he chose the route he went, but for him -- I knew that I was going to be playing in this event when I played with him in South Carolina, and the advice I got from him was the same thing that I've been saying, whatever nervousness you get you've got to block it out -- it's hard to block it out, it's almost like you can't block it out, but you've got to think of it as another shot. Hard to do but you focus enough and you should be able to do it.

Q. How do you assess his game?
JORDAN SPIETH: Tony's game?

Q. Yeah.
JORDAN SPIETH: Like he says, every year he kinda has to start over, but it's really incredible his golf game because he'll go out there, and he won't be quite the most textbook kinda guy, but it's his personality to expect to win in everything that he does, so he goes out to the tournament and in South Carolina he goes out there and hasn't played much golf in the past few months and everyone else has been practicing every day and gets ready for it, and he goes out there and expects to win, just as everyone else would, and it's the fire he has inside of him to win, and that's why he's so successful on the football field.

Q. What do you do particularly well in golf.
JORDAN SPIETH: In the past putting would be my strength. I would say that obviously out here, distance would be the weakness, but you put it in the fairway it's not that long. I don't necessarily bunt it out there, but you get it in the fairway and on the green and you hit 72 greens you're probably going to win the tournament. Get it up there.

Q. How were you today in practice matching up, drivingwise?
JORDAN SPIETH: I hit the ball really well yesterday, today not quite as well, but right now I'm just trying to keep it consistent, and hopefully we're trying to get everything to peak for Thursday, Friday and hopefully Saturday and Sunday.

Q. Were you up near those guys?
JORDAN SPIETH: Distancewise?

Q. Yeah.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I would say average. Like I said, it all comes down to the putter in the end. Everyone is going to hit plenty of greens, everyone is going to get their chances, it's who can capitalize on the opportunities.

Q. How big of a group of friends, family you expect to be out here?
JORDAN SPIETH: From what I've heard it's going to be nothing like I've seen before, a lot of the school -- I don't think they're shutin' it down, but they might as well, let's put it this way. Should be a big gallery out there, from my point of view.

Q. Usually there is a foursome in the Pro-Am. Are you going to meet up with those guys?
JORDAN SPIETH: I don't know. I'm going to half a day of school tomorrow, but I might see them in the afternoon, Mr. Brown, Mr. Barns and a couple other guys are going to be out there, and I've got to meet them and we'll see if I can get out and say hi.
We were joking around on the first tee with Justin and he was asking who those guys were playing with and they said "John Rollins" and he was jealous, like he wanted to play with them, just another Longhorn, I guess.

Q. What classes?
JORDAN SPIETH: English, Spanish, Physics. I've got to go in to do a physics project presentation. That will be fun.

Q. No finals, just a presentation?
JORDAN SPIETH: Finals will be the week after next.

Q. What's the presentation on?
JORDAN SPIETH: It's on a movie, we're proving physics problems in movies, a little group presentation.
THE MODERATOR: Jordan, good luck. Hope to see you on the weekend.

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