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October 2, 2013

Jordan Spieth


MARK STEVENS:  Start off talking about the ace you had number today on No. 12.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, we had a little match, Tiger and Kuch, me and Steve versus them two.  It was a 12‑hole match.  We started on No. 7.  We were going to play alternate‑shot the first six and best‑ball the last six, and so it was our sixth hole, and Tiger had already hit, he hit an 8‑iron.  Looked like he went after it, so I went ahead and hit kind of a smooth 7; 173 into a little breeze, played 175, 176, and started at the flag and never really left it, in mid‑air ‑‑ I had flown the green the couple days before and I thought it was perfect.  Took a little off it, and thought it might be the right club, took a little while to trickle and thought it was going to be about a foot short.
And all of a sudden it dropped.  Everybody's hands went up, so our arms went up, and it was really cool; a cool environment that we had that many people around.

Q.  How many have you had?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I've had three, two this year.  One was Saturday during Puerto Rico and this one and then and being able to have them as my teammates gives me a lot of confidence for this week.  Fred‑has kept us extremely relaxed and doesn't feel like the tournament is starting tomorrow, but I'm antsy to get going and have our nice little practice finished.

Q.  Coming here not so much because of the golf but with the team room, being so young?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I don't think so.  A lot of the guys I've been talking to for months now, not about The Presidents Cup, but just getting to know him and everyone's been so great to me and it's been very helpful in me dealing with any pressure that has come off the course.  Just knowing that everyone on‑course is so classy, it really helps me out.

Q.  Any rookie hazing? 
JORDAN SPIETH:  My caddie gets caddie rookie hazing but I didn't really gotten any.

Q.  What happened to ‑‑ inaudible.
JORDAN SPIETH:  I don't know, he called someone and they said it might have been from fatigue.  I said: Well, shoot, you're not getting any sleep.  You need to move from Seattle, that's what you get for traveling, three‑hour time change.

Q.  I heard Keegan and Phil got you and Stricker back yesterday?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It was a good match, same with today's match.  We had a couple great matches against a couple of the best players in the world and what better prep for tomorrow than to have those matches.  So yeah, they ended up beating us 1‑up.  They were 4‑up and we bought back and they closed it out.

Q.  Phil was chirping a bit?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, we were all chirping, of course.

Q.  What's your foursomes experience?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Walker Cup, played it there.  I enjoyed it.  Junior Ryder Cup I played it a couple times.  I think I played with Alexis Thompson once, which was really helpful for me; we, she, kind of trounced them but as far as with other guys, yeah, a few times, which any four‑ball experience is good four‑ball experience, even if it's not in this setting I think.
So having a guy like Steve obviously we'll see how tomorrow goes, it's a four‑ball and then we should be playing together in the alternate‑shot, too, on Friday, and it worked well today.  We were a few under in the six holes, so it was a good partnership, somebody that is as consistent as he is, frees me up.

Q.  Who won today with Tiger and Kuch?

Q.  Even with the ace?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, and had two eagles before that in alternate‑shot.  They eagled the first hole, No. 7 and 11, also.

Q.  What did Tiger tell you after the hole‑in‑one?
JORDAN SPIETH:  We were all just giving each other high‑fives and the next hole we were talking about how many each other had and I realized it was a lot humbling because they all have a lot more than I do.

Q.  When is it that you felt like you ‑‑ inaudible.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I think right after the Wyndham, I think going into the Playoffs, it was on my mind, it would have been my second win in a month or so, or probably less than a month, which I think would have maybe looked it up.
After I didn't win there, I figured I had to have two great weeks in the Playoffs but it came to my mind really in that week.  I knew that if I had a special week and could play well the first two events before captain's picks were announced, that maybe I would be on the radar and if I wasn't, then, you know, I didn't expect at the beginning of the year‑‑ so it wasn't going to be a letdown.  But felt like I did what I needed to do, and you know, couldn't have been more excited to receive Freddie's call.

Q.  Do you read a lot of the press, did you get caught up in any of that?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Not really.  I just don't really read it.  I stay focused, try to stay away from any media‑‑ especially during the week.  More so, it is laid back, but at the same time we have things to do here and we are working hard on our games here, and talking with each other in the team room, there's no time for reading anything else.

Q.  Whatever your expectations were leading to this point at The Presidents Cup, has anything surpassed it?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I just, people had talked about how it's maybe a more relaxed week than The Ryder Cup, and I just didn't believe it, and it truly has been.  It's been very easy on us.  Everyone's been extremely nice.  There's been no issues.  Not to say that I expected any issues but you know what I mean.  Having this many great players in the same room, we are not really talking about the week at hand other than when we are on the course talking about strategy and stuff like that.
But off the course, it's just been what sports games are on, just a normal week.

Q.  Your parents suggested that maybe this is just the hardest part of the transition to the PGA TOUR, is getting all this attention; why is it so hard for you to like be in the limelight?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I don't think it is.

Q.  You don't?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No.  It's just I guess what comes with it, if you're playing well, and maybe because of my age, it's added a little bit this year.  All in all, we are all peers and that's how I think of it.  I'm just out here at maybe an earlier age than some of the guys, but they have more experience than I do so I need to play a little better.

Q.  Even at home, it's down played, that's what they said?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, getting recognized more than I used to, it is quite a bit different.  I don't see it as anything negative.  I don't necessarily enjoy it or thrive for it‑‑ strive for it.  I guess it's just what happens.  It's nice to see a lot of old friends coming back and sending texts and saying congratulations and catching up with some people that I maybe haven't in a while.

Q.  Including baseball and football players, right, who at one time didn't think‑‑ understand why you would choose golf; is that true?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, not really.  I mean, I had a lot of friends‑‑ when I was growing up, the biggest sports, obviously when you grow up in Texas, it's football.  And baseball is kind of second, and I love basketball, too, and that's pretty much what all of my friends growing up chose the path of.
I fell in love with golf with some of my other buddies at the club when I was real young and I ended up being better at it at an early age than I was any of the other sports.  I like controlling my own destiny, which kind of goes against what we're doing here, the team aspect.  But yeah, it's nice to hear from old friends for sure.  But it's nothing negative.

Q.  So usually when someone has a hole‑in‑one, they buy the round for the group; you can't‑‑
JORDAN SPIETH:  Everything here for all the players and wives are open bar, so that makes it easy.  Technically it's alternate‑shot, so Steve made a hole‑in‑one so we can split it.

Q.  Can you talk about how that differs from the Walker Cup‑‑
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I think the Walker Cup is a very special event, outside of this, it's the most special event I've been involved in.  It was a little more intensity feel like because pretty much all but a couple guys, it was a brand new experience for them.  They didn't know what to expect, and when I'm here, everybody on this team has had at least a Ryder Cup, if not Presidents Cup experience, and so they all know the routine.  It helps me get into the routine quicker, versus trying to learn all the new steps outside the course along the way.  It just seemed a little more intense, a little more pressure and nerves involved in the Walker Cup leading up to the event than it does here.

Q.  Obviously a lot different‑‑ those guys are thinking about turning pro, versus here you've already turned pro‑‑
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, out here, it's what are you going to buy next‑‑ no, definitely.  It's different at the Walker Cup, too, because I had played with so many of those guys for so many years and out here it's been one year, really half a year, of playing with these guys.
So in that sense, it is different on how close I am to the guys that I'm playing with.  But you know, very easy to get along with.  My partner tomorrow is one of the best guys on TOUR; anybody would agree with that.  We are just going to have a lot of fun.

Q.  When you look at going back to Puerto Rico, is there a moment at all where you felt overwhelmed?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Overwhelming?  I was overwhelmed at the 2‑footer at the John Deere but found a way to go in and it changed my golf life, so it allowed me to come and be able to play in this event I think.  Without that, I don't think I would be here and I wouldn't have been able to play in the Playoffs.
I don't think I've been overwhelmed.  I don't think I've been tired at all.  I took a couple weeks off at one point in August there, July‑‑ I guess it was August, not because I was tired but just because I wanted to look at the best way to prepare for a major championship, and it wasn't the right preparation for me.  I think playing the week before might be a better prep for the future.  I tend to play better, my better golf now, I learned this year, the second, third, fourth week in a row, which is interesting.
So I don't think I've been overwhelmed honestly, but I am ready to sit back, relax and watch a lot of football this fall.

Q.  What is it about Stricker that makes you guys a good fit personality‑wise?
JORDAN SPIETH:  He's one of the nicest guys around.  Personality‑wise, very easy to get along with, very positive.  Whenever he hits a bad shot, you don't really know it.  I mean, he doesn't really react, which I think is good for me, because I need to learn how to be a little more neutral like he is.  But at the same time, what you will be able to see tomorrow, we can both get pretty fired up.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it's an honor.  Just to hear from the best players in the world, some of the things that they have said, and they have come to me and said it.  It's inspirational for me, it really is.
You know, I've played a few rounds with Phil, now Tiger today.  I know you guys have questioned them about it and they have been very, very nice about what they have said, and it means a lot to me.  At the same time, when I play with those guys and I see some of the shots they hit, it is very humbling to where I need to, it's not like I'm satisfied at all.  I mean, you need to strive to be able to do some of the things that they do.

Q.  What's the story behind that bracelet?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Oh, this is a friend that passed away leading into college, and she has a foundation and I wear the bracelet and help out.

Q.  What's her name?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It's Micaela's Army.

Q.  What did you learn when you started going into your sister's classroom and volunteering?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I got to see her around her peers, which is‑‑ I don't think a lot of people get to do is to be in a special needs classroom for full special needs kids.  It's a lot of fun.  It's more funny think than I ever had at school; I wish I went to their school.  They are really funny.  A lot of them are much smarter at certain subjects than we were at their age I guess, and you know, they just have some things that they don't do quite as well, but it's a lot of fun.  It's a lot of fun to be able to help and that's what I look forward to doing for years down the road is getting involved with special needs kids.

Q.  With your foundation?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, that's in the works, and we'll I think start out as a fund and then eventually pretty soon I think form a foundation around it.

Q.  People will presume that Steve is going to be talking you through it‑‑ is that what it's been like so far?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I think Phil said it well yesterday.  He said, same we and Keegan, that we need each other.  It's almost a routine for guys that have played it so many times and they like to see how fired up‑‑ I mean, I'm so excited to get going.  I'm nervous, which is a great thing, very antsy, very excited, just to see the grandstands here, the differences from a normal TOUR event; to have people chant "USA "gives me chills.  For it to be my first time, I think bringing that kind of new firepower, new emotion, maybe will help.
I don't think Steve needs any of it, but if he's looking for any of it, I'll have it, and at the same time, yes, he is going to be a mentor figure for me, and he's going to be very positive.  He's going to be very consistent.  He's going to, yeah, I feel like his game is so perfect, it frees me up, it allows me to play exactly how I would play a normal event versus if I'm playing to, if I have a couple different aggressive players, then you've got to almost change strategy and I think it will be a great fit tomorrow.

Q.  You've talked a lot this year about one of the things having to learn is to put mistakes or missed putts behind you quickly and get going.  Do you think that will be tested this week?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I think it will, it will help to be able to hit the putt again if we do miss it, just to see the ball go in the hole.  That's why I love match play, one of the many reasons.  But being able to go to the next hole after seeing a made putt, if you want to, you can always go to the next hole after making a putt.
So, yeah, there's obviously going to be more emotion riding on this event than I think I've ever had, good and bad.  And it's about limiting that bad and having a partner like Steve is going to be a boost in getting over it quicker.

Q.  When Fred asked for people you wanted to play with, how many guys did you turn in?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I said anybody.  I said anyone‑‑ there are a couple people that came to me about Steve and I said he would be an awesome fit.  And then we decided to play together at the practice round at THE TOUR Championship, and at that point, he tore it up.  So I said, yes, okay, I'd like him as my partner, because I didn't make a birdie.  But since then, we have both been able to feed off each other these first two days and feel like we have got something going.

Q.  You mentioned, you thought you would get some grief and some ribbing from guys‑‑ has that happened yet?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Like rookie hazing?  No.  Not at all.  Yet.
But no, I think we've been so busy and I think a lot of the guys are at dinners or with their wives, and they don't want to go overboard.

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