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October 31, 2013

Jordan Spieth


LAURA NEAL:  We'd like to welcome Jordan Spieth to the interview room.  Jordan, it's your first trip to Asia, I believe, and your first World Golf Championships start.  So you're out, 2‑over through eight on the back nine and really made quite a come back to post 4‑under.  Just talk about your round today.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I was the last couple days trying to get my feet under me, trying to adjust to the time zone, and legs felt a little weak today.  Especially on the front nine until a couple of putts started to go in.
Yeah, I was actually getting around pretty nicely.  I got to 1‑under there early and then had a 3‑putt and then dumped one in the water on 17, about 50 yards short of the green.  I just chunked a 5‑iron.  And so I was 2‑over and I went to my caddie and said, we can climb back to even par, that's a good score on this golf course.  Then birdied 18 and 1, and then once that happened, just started hitting every green and actually having good looks at birdie.  Felt kind of right back at the end of the season last year the way I was swinging and putting.  It was really nice to get those feelings back and just took a few holes to do so.

Q.  When did you start practicing?  Monday or Tuesday, or what day did you get here?
JORDAN SPIETH:  We landed Monday night.  So I slept‑‑ tried to sleep as much as I could on Tuesday, got up here kind of mid day.  I practiced and played the back nine.

Q.  What did you want to know before you headed to China?  What questions were you asking your colleagues?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I was really asking how to adjust to the time zones.  It's 13 hours from Dallas where I've been for the last month, which is‑‑ you know, the furthest I've ever had to go I think is six or seven hours.  I just wanted to know what tips to have to adjust to the time zone, and you know, ones we got here, it was just going to be a normal routine in how I get ready for any tournament in studying the golf course.  That was No. 1.  And I heard the food was really good.

Q.  What were the tips?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I was told to drink an excessive amount of water on the flight over just to get adapted, and then it's all about keeping yourself awake when I want to go to sleep at 7.00pm.  It's all about trying to push yourself to stay awake a few more hours so you don't wake up.  I've woken up a couple times at four or five o'clock in the morning and just tried to force myself back to bed.

Q.  Just like to know, now that you've played the course, what are the similarities and the differences between the courses you generally play in the States?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I don't think there's a whole lot of differences.  It's very, very narrow, very difficult driving course, especially in the wind.  The greens have more slope than normal I think.  But all in all, the grass types, we don't see paspalum fairways, we don't see that very often, if ever.
But the greens are very similar.  They are the same type of grass that we see all the time.  They putt the same way, which I think has helped me adjust quickly out there.  I mean, it wasn't like I had to think about‑‑ it's not like putting on fescue in the U.K. like we never see.
The rough, it takes a little bit to get used to the rough because it's a little wispy, and I wanted to play for some flyers into the wind and it never jumped.  It came out normal, which I guess helped us, but that was about the only thing.

Q.  You have a fantastic rookie season, and you'll be able to win championships and also win The Presidents Cup, so coming into next season, what's your expectation, and how many more championships do you want to win and what's your expectation for the year‑end ranking?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, good question.  I consider this the start of my season for this next year.  I don't consider it part of last year, or this past year.
I sat down with my instructor and went over goals and ways to improve, because it's very easy to have a lull after a good year.  But you know, I set higher goals.  I set new goals, just like I kind of did in the middle of last season.  I had to adjust and create new ones.
You know, I'm doing the same thing now.  As far as how many wins, that's hard to put a number on.  Obviously making The Ryder Cup would be a huge honor for me just as The Presidents Cup was, so that's definitely a goal, and to play a lot better in the major championships and to give myself a chance to win there, which I think starts in the World Golf Championships, trying to compete here and trying to win the golf tournament.

Q.  So this is your first time to China.  What do you have some image about it, and what do you want to know?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I've enjoyed it very much.  The people have been fantastic.  The place that we're staying is great; great food.  I would like to go into Shanghai to downtown a couple nights.  Maybe we'll get a chance to go for dinner a night or two this weekend, because I've heard it's unbelievable.
I haven't really experienced China other than just the resort, so it would be nice to maybe go into the city, and I know of a couple good spots that Graeme was telling me about that I would like to go to dinner and maybe check it out from there.  But I've only heard great things and everybody has been extremely nice to me.

Q.  Do you know Peter Uihlein and Luke Guthrie, I think they have very good performance last week.  What do you expect for this tournament?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, Luke Guthrie and Peter Uihlein, I've known both of them for a long time from when we were junior golfers, and then in college and now professional.  They are extremely good players.  It's no surprise that they have had such success out here.
Peter I saw on the leaderboard here early today.  I don't know what he ended up shooting, but I know he was a couple under early, no surprise there.  I don't think Luke is actually in this event this week, but what he did last week, he had a four‑shot lead through two rounds; didn't close out like he maybe wanted to, but still a great week there against a spectacular field.
So both guys are my peers; hopefully we'll be competing for many years to come with each other.  They are both great guys, too.  So I enjoy hanging around with both of them.

Q.  Did you bring your own caddie for traveling that far away, or do you use a caddie from Sheshan?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I brought my own caddie that I've used all year.

Q.  You mentioned you only practiced nine holes on Tuesday; did you practice the back nine or the front nine?
JORDAN SPIETH:  The back nine was where I did‑‑ I played 18 on Wednesday in the Pro‑Am.

Q.  Your practice may not be enough for the game, so for you to have such a good performance on the back nine, has your caddie been helping you a lot?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, definitely.  He was‑‑ I thought we both did a great job; when I did hit in the water, I made double and I was 2‑over.  I had a great attitude.  I wasn't upset.  I knew there was going to be some birdie holes.  My expectations were just, I didn't set them too high for the week.  I wanted to come out and play solid golf.  I had a few weeks, took a couple weeks off, and then I'm getting back into it.
So I didn't really know what to expect out of the game this week, traveling over here, and, yeah, limited practice, but maybe it was good for me.  My caddie helped me stay calm and stay positive, and you know, once the putts started going in, we were just in our normal routine.

Q.  I noticed on your yardage book there is an Open Championship logo; does it mean a lot to you?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, we got it at the British this year.  I have a couple of the covers from The Presidents Cup that I think I left in my Presidents Cup bag, but yeah, it was a great experience playing in The Open Championship.  I don't use it to bring any memories or anything.  I just didn't have one of the other ones in there.  I wanted to cover it up because otherwise the yardage book would get all messed up.

Q.  As a young player, do you have any advantage, it's first Halloween night in Asia for you; do you have any special plan to celebrate tonight?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I guess do peopl dress up as Americans or anything?  Maybe American sports player?
No, I don't have any special plans.  I love Halloween.  I miss Halloween.  Halloween was really fun in college, too, at the university.  But yeah, I'm missing out in the States this year, but I'll probably scare my manager a time or two to night to make up for it.
LAURA NEAL:  Jordan, thanks for your time and good luck the rest of the week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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