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May 15, 2013

Jordan Spieth


THE MODERATOR:  We would like to welcome Jordan Spieth.  Jordan, you're going to make your third start here this week, your first as a professional.  A lot has changed since 2011 when you played here last.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Obviously at the beginning of the year I was hoping to get an invite, a sponsor's exemption here and obviously this tournament is dear to my heart and, it gave me a big bump when I was able to get the exemption and take advantage when I was 16 and 17.
Now back in a little different position now, not in school anymore, but I couldn't be more excited to be back here.  To me this is my favorite event of the year.

Q.  Jordan, this is one of your favorite tournaments.  Go back to your first one where you made such big headway.  How can you use that as inspiration for this year?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, you know, it was another event where I was able to be in contention and feel the pressure and feel comfortable on this golf course.  I think when I look back at the first year and even the second year, I feel like I played just as well the second year, just didn't finish as well.
I can look back on how comfortable I was on these greens.  When you've made putts on these greens and you get on 'em again there is a different level of confidence that you have.  That's what I noticed just playing the practice rounds out here.
I know where the pin placements are going to be for the most part and I know where the right spots are to leave it and I can't say that about many events yet.  This is the only tournament I'll have played three times now.  That's pretty special, and I think it's going to have its advantages.

Q.  Obviously they got a 14 year old in the tournament now.  Have you talked with him?  Do you see any similarities about kind of handling pressure so young and not getting too caught up in the mix?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, I think it's incredible what he's doing.¬† I was out here this past week a couple of times and he has been here all week and I was on the putting green and hitting balls next to him, it was just me and my bag and he's got a whole group of people.¬† He played beyond his years, the composure‑‑ I watched him at the Masters and honestly going into it I thought it could be a little too much for him, and he surprised the whole world.
Then to follow it up, with a made cut in his second event and taking up exemptions throughout the year I think it's pretty cool.¬† I think watching him‑‑ doesn't necessarily remind me‑‑ I can't exactly relate because that's 14, that's not even high school yet.¬† That's pretty special what he's doing.

Q.  You mentioned that you talked to him in New Orleans.  What did you say to him?
JORDAN SPIETH:  We were on the range, and I ended up hitting balls next to him and I said "hey, man, I'm Jordan, congrats, it was a lot of fun to watch and keep it up."
Just asked him what he was doing for school and small talk. 

Q.¬† What have been changes in terms of‑‑ since you started playing professionally?¬† Are you still living at home or?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I moved out of my parents' house now.  I got an apartment in the uptown area, I've got one of my good buddies who played at the University of Texas with me, Alex Moon, we're living together in a cool spot downtown.

Q.  Is it better than mom and dad's?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I can't say it is but it's nice to be away.  Every now and then.

Q.  Is it nice knowing if you make the cut this week you will actually get a check?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, yeah, as opposed to the other years I look‑‑ you can look at the magazine or the newspaper the day after and see what everyone else that tied with you made and it shows a big fat zero next to your name so it's nice to be able to, you know, get money for playing golf.

Q.¬† Is it one of these things when you come here now as a professional that you have a bit of a different mind‑set because it's more of a business approach?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, definitely.¬† It doesn't have anything to do with this event in particular but just having played a pretty full schedule in the last three months, actually a really full schedule in the last three months, each tournament, now I have a specific game plan, each day I know what I'm going to do, what times I'm going to do it, versus when it's one single pro event or two a year you're caught up in everything and trying to play the course as many times as you can before.¬† Sometimes‑‑ in the past I've even worn myself out a little bit, I think, in certain events‑‑ not this one, but‑‑ so definitely, it's nice to have it be a full schedule and be able to have a specific game plan week‑to‑week.

Q.  You played so much startin' out for obvious reasons to get your card.  Is it going to be tough to fulfill that next year now that you have your card to play in all those places again?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† No, I just think it's‑‑ you mean on the PGA TOUR events?

Q.  Your schedule is going to be hectic you created that by?
JORDAN SPIETH:  The word "schedule" is nice to have.  Starting the year.  I was going to four different countries and trying to decide which country to go to.  So, no, I think I'll be more relaxed.  I'm super relaxed now having the Puerto Rico week and Tampa and being able to have unlimited exemptions to earn my card for next year, and now I'm just relaxed and trying to figure out a way to win.  That's the next goal.
Next year, I'm not sure what kind of pressures it will present, but I know that I will play more events than I'm playing this year.  I didn't even get to start playing a schedule until two months into it.  So it will be nice to kind of pick and choose events.

Q.  Are there people on the TOUR or are there any type of players or past players that you seek advice from or has anybody come to you and given you advice being on the TOUR?  This being your rookie year on it?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† It's not anyone specific, but I've played with a lot of different veterans in practice rounds and real rounds, in tournament rounds out here.¬† Everyone is extremely supportive and mainly it's‑‑ I'll ask them questions.¬† Some guys will come up and say, "hey, what are you doing for this, what are you doing for that, where are you stayin'?"¬† And try and help.¬† But for the most part I'm asking questions and trying to learn from those guys, especially the guys that are consistently on the TOUR for 10 to 30 years, those guys know how to work the system so I'm trying to dip my feet in and learn from them.

Q.  This is a business, so are they giving you advice on that side of it?  On the business aspect of the PGA?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† You know, a little bit.¬† Most of the business stuff is coming from me talking with my parents, my manager.¬† I have a crew, you know, I have a company that's managing my money and all that, so it's mainly we talk‑‑ it's a little different situation being 19 versus a 35 year old with a family.¬† In a sense I can learn from the pros, from when they were younger but a lot of that is taking place within my support group.

Q.  A lot of guys go to their local event and they consider it their fifth major.  Is that how you view this event?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I tried not to put too much pressure on that.  I've thought about this event from the beginning of the year and I think about leading up to it, how can I prepare for the Nelson.
I wouldn't consider it a fifth major because I don't know if I'm going to play in any majors this year, but it's definitely special.¬† It's dear to my heart, and it's an event that I‑‑ if I were to choose one to win as soon as I can, it would be this one right now.¬† That's what I'm preparing for, but when I get out there and tee off it's just another round of golf.

Q.  Speaking of majors, are you going to try British Open qualifying at Gleneagles?

Q.  Talk about Lakewood and how well you've done there playing for the U.S. Open.
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† I have this week and hopefully four good rounds here, and Monday is a 36‑hole qualifier at Gleneagles, and play in that and then play Colonial, and, yeah, fortunately the U.S. Open comes back to Lakewood.¬† I played it in Houston last year and they alternate Houston and Dallas each year and they chose Lakewood which is, oddly enough, a course that I love and I'm excited to get out there, and it's going to be nice to have posted a couple of low rounds out there and hopefully get out there and make it to Marion.¬†

Q.  Besides getting a place to live, you have already made more money than most people a few months out of college, have you splurged on anything?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I haven't.  I get asked that a lot.  I had a week off so I was resting and trying to prepare for this week.  Haven't spent money on anything other than getting a place.  We'll see.

Q.  Can you talk about the 18th hole and what kind of challenges that presents?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, I was walking yesterday on No. 1.¬† I only played nine holes yesterday, and the wind direction was out of the southwest which is typical here, and it was funny because the two days before I played it with a north wind, hit 3‑wood, sand wedge at 18 and I've also hit driver 6‑iron at 18, either way you still have to split that tiny gap of fairway and take on the water and we're also talking you get in the last groups on Sunday in the past few years I haven't seen one person birdie it in regulation or even hit the fairway.
It's one of those demanding shots that you have to step up and pretend the water is not there, and try and stripe it.  It's a real golf hole, it's tough.

Q.¬† I was wondering if you can compare the mind‑set that you'll have tomorrow before you hit your first shot, kind of what you'll be thinking about compared to that same situation three years ago.
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, three years ago I was trying to make contact. ¬†Tomorrow‑‑ I remember it was ‑‑ I was teeing off in the afternoon and there was a rain delay so I was sitting around the clubhouse for four or five hours, teed off at 5:30, off No. 10 which I didn't want to wait to hit that shot, and I ended up hitting a good drive but I could have sworn I closed my eyes and this week I'm sure it will be just like any of the events that I've been playin' this year, you step up on the first tee, hopefully you get a good following, that's what's great about being here I have hometown support from friends and family.
I will be nervous in that aspect but I'm teeing off No. 1 so it will be a nice 3‑wood and hit it up the left side.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks for your time, Jordan, good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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