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April 18, 2012

Jordan Spieth


NELSON SILVERIO:  Welcome Jordan Spieth to the interview room at the Valero Texas Open.
Jordan, the No. 1 collegiant-ranked golfer in the country.  You guys are fresh off a win last week so why don't you just tell us what your expectations are for this week, you're fifth PGA TOUR event, and the state of your game.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Playing well right now.  I've been able to improve at Texas with how the team is playing, been able to push each other.  Been a really good deal going down there.
Expectations this week, I want to get out and get in contention and hopefully win.  I mean I feel like the course fits my game and I'm confident, I played it a few times now and everything seems to be falling in place.
NELSON SILVERIO:  You've played the golf course, you've played it this week but how does it fit your eye?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I played it a couple weeks ago, just shot down here for a day.  Played the Monday Pro-Am and played a practice round yesterday.
It's definitely very difficult as the scores have shown in previous years but it fits my eye well.  You got to drive the ball straight and I feel like that's the strength of mine and so we'll get out there and have some fun tomorrow.
NELSON SILVERIO:  Great.  Questions?

Q.  Jordan, the course has been a big discussion point obviously among the pro players who have been out on Tour for a long time.  You've seen a lot of the courses, obviously Byron and some other places.
How does this one stack up to the courses you've played as far as the difficulty factor?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It's the most difficult -- well, it's extremely difficult.  It's one of the tougher ones of the pro events that I've played.  Riviera was obviously really tough this year with 6, 7-under winning it -- I feel like that's what won it last year.
It's definitely one of the tougher ones.  If the wind picks up it will really, really show its teeth.  And that's what we're all expecting, I mean we're in Texas in the springtime, it's going to blow so you just got to stay patient and hit some fairways.

Q.  With rare exception over the years, this tournament in particular has had some winners that kind of come out of the pack a little bit, Eric Axley, Brendan Steele last year.
Do you look at that kind of as an encouragement that it's anybody can win type tournament?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I'm not sure if that's guiding me, guiding my confidence level at all.  I know that if you can hit a lot of fairways out here, I can't really say it enough, then anyone can win this tournament.  I feel like anybody can win it.
It's a good feel.  I mean we have some very, very good players in the event but, at the same time, if I go out there and just tell myself that I can beat these guys, then -- just play this as if I'm playing with my college teammates, that makes it a lot easier.

Q.  Jordan, this is some somewhat in your backyard.  Should there be large expectations on you or do you put big expectations on you this week?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I'm putting high expectations on myself.  I don't really know how other people feel but I expect myself to play well coming from playing a lot of really difficult courses already this year in the college -- our college tournaments and also playing the Northern Trust.
I have high expectations for myself this week and I know the golf course is -- you're going to make bogies out here and it's all about patience, but I feel like having played a few tournaments before, PGA events leading up to this, it's going to be a big help in how I settle in to start and kind of take control of my game in this tournament.

Q.  You said you've been able to improve during the college season.  What areas were you improved the most in?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, I mean I have a lot more time to practice than I did in high school.  We get out of class at 12:30 and I have the rest of the day to practice which is nice, versus in high school I was there at 3:00 p.m. and out on the course.
Really, just all around, just everything kind of been a little more consistent.  I just had more -- I've hit ball balls and putts and chips.  Everything is just really more refined.  I wouldn't say one area in specific is really just grown.  More of everything, kind of the tightening up to how it needs to be.

Q.  I was at the Nelson last year.  Do you think you'll have as much of a home crowd advantage?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I don't think so.  I'm not expecting something like that.  But I know that there's plenty of University of Texas alums lumps and also I'm going to have quite a few friends down, too.  It will feel like I'm at home, which will be good.

Q.  When you look at how you're playing now and you know your game, obviously, and you're measuring yourself against some of the players out here, do you have a timetable where you physically -- I know you're not going to say I'm going to be four years in Texas or whatever, do you have kind a personal timetable if I do this, I'm ready to make that leap to the Pros?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Not necessarily.  Obviously if I were to win as an amateur that makes life a lot easier, makes decisions easier but, you know, the better I play these events the more everything takes care of itself.
So, I'm not really thinking ahead too much right now.  I'm just focused on this week and focused on winning it and if I can win it, then we'll kind of assess it from there and it will be a good problem to have.

Q.  Obviously you have aspirations above the amateur level.  Do you allow yourself to measure against these guys this week?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Definitely.  In all these Tour events not only am I just measuring my own game against them but I'm trying to learn stuff from them.
They're all out here, PGA TOUR members for a reason so -- I'm trying to be where they are.  Obviously, I'm a lot younger than they are but, you know, I'm learning from them and I'm also able to compare my game and yeah, I've seen -- I've been in contention before, couple years at the Byron and couple times where I've struggled.
So those were humbling experiences.  So now I learn from those and I feel like I can compete with these guys, I really do, and that's not a reason for me staying amateur, whatnot.  I mean there's tons of factors.  But, you know, I'm confident in how I can match up against them.
NELSON SILVERIO:  Okay.  Anymore questions?  All right.  Jordan, thanks.
JORDAN SPIETH:  You got it.

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