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September 20, 2013

Jordan Spieth


THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome Jordan Spieth to the interview room.  Sounds like from the interviews out there, you've made the most out of your round today and good position heading into the weekend.  Maybe just talk us through today and what you're looking forward to for the rest of the event.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, today was a day where I felt like I shot as low as I could have shot, which is kind of a rare case this year with me.
My ball striking, I've given myself a lot of opportunities in the past couple of months, and my good tournaments were the tournaments where I felt comfortable putting.  Today, the ball striking was a little off, but I must have had probably 24, 25 putts.  It wasn't that many.
I felt really good over the ball.  Yeah, I'm excited where I'm at.  Henrik's obviously tearing it up, so we have some work to do.
But if I can go over the green, kind of get that feeling down tomorrow and strike it a little better, could be a low round.
THE MODERATOR:  We're teasing you about knowing all the scenarios, but is it basically you just win and see what happens from there.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I think from this point with Henrik first and Adam tied for second, it's kind of not the scenario that would be perfect for me.
Yeah, I don't expect to win the FedExCup at this point, but I can make a run at the TOUR Championship.

Q.  Can you explain to us what kind of greens you grew up putting?  I think these are champions Bermuda?
JORDAN SPIETH:  The exact same kind as these.  I grew up at a course called Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas.  It's a family club.  They actually have like 2 1/2 golf courses, and all three are all Bermuda with these kind of greens, and we grew up putting out there every day.
Where it really helps me is I'm very committed to the line.  I'm not ever second guessing what the putt's going to do.  The only putts I truly feel like I struggle with out here are the ones where they're really straight.  So I'm just playing those firm in the middle.
But all in all, I'm able to see the lines a lot easier because we don't see these greens very much on Tour, and when we have, I feel like it's been an advantage for me putting.  So just try and continue that.

Q.  [No microphone.]
JORDAN SPIETH:  Where at home right now?  I'm at Northwood and Lakewood.  Really, honestly, I have not been practicing at home in about four months.  I haven't really had much time off.

Q.  We can write that you've not practiced in four months?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Not at home.  When I'm at home, I've actually seen my instructor, and he's at Brook Hollow Golf Club, and that's kind of, each time when I've been home, I've been out there hitting golf balls with him.

Q.  Tiger talked about it yesterday, and I think Henrik mentioned it yesterday, about being tired.  It's a long grind.  This has got to be the most golf you've ever played in a season.
JORDAN SPIETH:  More than twice the amount I've ever played in a year, and it's September.

Q.  You're young, but do you feel it either physically or mentally?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Not really.  I think I'm just so still stoked about being at this tournament, what it means, and then the Presidents Cup is in two weeks, and that obviously keeps you going.
Yeah, I mean, maybe after that, I'll be a little tired, but right now I'm good.

Q.  Do you think your youth might be an advantage in that maybe everything that's at stake here doesn't sink in to you as much as it might to the older, more veteran guys.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it's weird that you guys are talking about me being young.  That hasn't happened yet.
Yeah, I think it‑‑ I think it might be an advantage.  All in all, I mean, we're going to get some different conditions these next couple of days, and I don't think that‑‑ I don't think it necessarily has much of an impact, but if guys are really tired from playing more golf than normal, then, yeah, maybe it's an advantage because I don't feel really tired out there.
I was trying to have my caddie keep up with me today up the hills.  It was pretty hot.  It was.  But it's still a break from the Texas weather.

Q.  Was the back of the press row in Chicago the first time you'd met Stricker?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I'd met him briefly before.  I know Jimmy Johnson, his caddie, very well.  He actually lives at Brook Haven where I grew up, near Brook Haven.
But, yeah, the first time I'd ever played with him was this week.  I played nine holes Tuesday and then the match Wednesday.

Q.  What's your impression of him, player and person?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I think he's a class act.  I've always thought he was.  Just that's how he handles himself.
He kind of goes about his business, but he's a very nice guy who's willing to help me.  He actually asked me a couple questions on a couple shots, just like I was doing to him.  We were just kind of picking each other's brain and just kind of talking about everything.
But very, very super nice guy and somebody that I'd like to play with maybe in a cup of weeks, if possible.

Q.  What questions did he ask you?
JORDAN SPIETH:  He just‑‑ a lot of it was off course, just kind of, I guess, kind of finding out kind of who I am.
But, yeah, we were hitting a couple of different chip shots.  I was showing him the way I hit it.  He was kind of showing me the way he hits it.  I was just trying to watch him putt and see if I can learn anything from that.

Q.  You talk about playing a lot of golf so far this year.  Have you planned your schedule after the Presidents Cup?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I haven't.  I don't know exactly what‑‑ other than I can tell you that I'll be at the World Golf Championship in China because I promised I'd never skip another World Golf Championship.  I'll be there.
Other than that, I really don't know.  Maybe one or two other events, and if I can get into Tiger's, maybe his.  Or if I was in, I would play his.

Q.  Having played with Stricker, obviously, you two could end up being paired together at the Presidents Cup.  Is there anyone else you've played with that you would enjoy?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Webb and I talked about it today.  We were just talking, and it's amazing with this team‑‑ and I have no experience.  I don't know past teams, what it was like.  But it seems to me like there's only one or two pairings that you wouldn't mess up, and everybody else is pretty interchangeable.
So I think we won't really know exactly what it's going to be until maybe that Tuesday or Wednesday right before, after a couple practice rounds.  Webb and I would be great playing with each other too, just like I'd be fine playing with anybody.

Q.  I'm sure you've talked about this before.  I just don't remember.  Why did you miss Firestone and play Greensboro?  You did play Greensboro, didn't you?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I played Greensboro‑‑ yeah, Greensboro was mine‑‑ missed a cut at the PGA.  Went home a few days.  Went into Greensboro late.
I played that course before, and I like those greens, Bermuda, and it was a good course for me and a good opportunity to make a run.
I really went into it with a relaxed mindset of trying to win.  Never really felt any adrenaline or pressure like maybe in a Major the week before where I was maybe putting too much pressure on myself.
But at the time of Firestone, it was just a really tough stretch for me.  It was after the John Deere and the British, and I had not had more than a week off since January.  I just kind of needed‑‑ I really did feel tired there and really needed to rest up.  I thought I was going to have really good prep for the PGA having that extra week.
It didn't turn out that way, but it was good prep for the three weeks to follow that.

Q.  Have you had a chance to talk to Fred Couples at all other than just a little bit on the phone?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, he sends texts regularly, I think, to all the guys.  He's texted me a few times.  A lot of it is asking about the Longhorn football team, which is pretty rough to talk about.
Yeah, it's just‑‑ so far‑‑ and I haven't had much contact with him‑‑ but it's helped me feel really relaxed.  He's kind of putting it on us, what do we want to do?  What are we most comfortable with?  Maybe just trying to get us to play practice rounds with each other, games like we did on Wednesday, just to get a little competition within the team.
I think once we get there in a week and a half, that's how it will feel, and it should be a lot of fun.

Q.  What's your first contact and impressions of Fred?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I saw him and actually met him at Austin Country Club when I was at the University of Texas, and he was there.  He was playing with Tom Kite, and I was practicing, and I know Mr. Kite pretty well from just he's always involved with the UT golf team.
And just the same as everybody else thinks.  He just seemed like the coolest guy in golf.
And then really saw him on the plane after the John Deere, and he said congrats and whatnot, but it was quick walking by.  So I haven't had much contact with him, but he seems like a really, really cool guy.

Q.  Have you ever been intimidated meeting somebody?
JORDAN SPIETH:  First time I played golf with George W. Bush probably.

Q.  That was hard?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah.  I mean, other than him, no, probably not.  I haven't met that many cool people, though.
THE MODERATOR:  Present company excluded, I'm sure.
JORDAN SPIETH:  I'm joking.

Q.  You mentioned you're looking to hit the ball a little better tomorrow.  Is there anything in your swing you're focusing on or anything you're going to do to get it a little bit tighter?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I struggled a little bit today with kind of little cut shots into the green, little pitching wedges, pretty basic shots.
Whenever I was turning the ball or had a full shot in, I hit a lot better shots than my easy ones.  I need to just kind of get over there and just get the feeling down.  I think it was maybe just a little ball position or something, something small.
But I had a few wedge opportunities where I ended up with 30 feet and having to lag it.  But all in all, just a few balls on the range, and then I'll try and make sure I get whatever that feeling is in my putting and keep it going.

Q.  Did you hit the ball forward or back?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I think it's maybe a touch too far back.  Just on the zoysia, trying to compress it a little bit, I think I need to be a little shallower into the ball.
THE MODERATOR:  Jordan, thank you so much.  Good luck this weekend.

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