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HYUNDAI TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS


January 5, 2014


Jordan Spieth


KAPALUA, HAWAII

JOHN BUSH:¬† Jordan Spieth, 4‑under par 69, one of our three leaders at 14‑under par.¬† Jordan, if we can get some comments on your round.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I'm happy with the round.  Third rounds were a struggle last year and it was mainly because of my patience.
So today, even when I didn't play the easy holes as well as I wanted to, I felt like I stayed patient and then got a good birdie on 17 there, a closing save.  I had a nice turn around on 8 after a bogey to birdie that hole.  I think that was kind of the spark of the day for me on a really difficult par 3, birdie 8 and 9 to get back on track and just grabbed a couple more.

Q.  What's the closest you came to losing patience?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Probably 15, 16, was pretty hard.  Both those holes are very simple holes, I think.  15 I've been struggling off that tee shot, each day I've pulled it to make sure I'm not going close to the hazard on the right and it's leaving me with a difficult second shot each day, awkward lie.
So I did what I could from there to get it to ten feet and had a lip‑out, and next hole, I hit lob‑wedge in, hit a great shot and left the putt short.¬† Just to go through those two easy holes and know that competitors are birdieing them, that's in the past where I may have kind of let it get to me a little more.
But I got to 17 tee box and thankfully that view kind of calmed me down a little bit and I was able to snag a birdie there.

Q.  How does that set you up for tomorrow, having a stretch like that and knowing you've got three guys tied, a bunch of other guy two and three shots back and it's kind of a boat race.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it is, Webb and Dustin, a lot of experience, and Dustin the winner here last year, knows the course extremely well.  It's going to be a battle.  I'm going to have to make some birdies tomorrow but again it's going to come down to a lot of patience.
This is a new position for me.¬† I've never slept on a 54‑hole lead.¬† I'm excited about it and it's going to be a fun time tomorrow to get to play with Webb I think for the third time again this week.¬† We were able to feed off each other in the first round and yesterday, and hopefully can do it tomorrow.

Q.  Are you still at a place where you kind of look at who you're tied with or who you're ahead of and kind of just pinch yourself?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No.

Q.  When did that end?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Never really wanted to think that way.¬† I mean, you don't want to.¬† It makes it almost a bigger‑than‑life experience when truly we're just playing golf.¬† So I don't know if there's a time frame but I've now been playing with these guys week in and week fought for five months‑ish, so that's a lot of events.
And I've been able to compete with them, so kind of feel like this is where I want to be, this is what it's all about to feel the pressure of Sunday at a PGA event.  So it will be cool playing Kapalua on Monday I guess.

Q.  Do you go into tomorrow with a number in mind?  Do you watch the leaderboard as you go during the final round?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† I'm going to try not to watch the leaderboard I think.¬† Fortunately Webb is going to be with me so I'll know what he's doing, but it's not a match‑play experience.¬† It's not like I'm looking at what the guys next to me are doing and I'm trying to grind to beat them on the hole.
I'll have a game plan, I'm not sure what it is yet going in.¬† Once I get on the first tee‑‑ just kind of my mental attitude going into it.¬† And I need to go work on my putting a little now so I can gain some confidence back.¬† So once that happens, I'll pick a game plan and be ready to go.¬†

Q.  What did you hit on 17 and could you talk about how close you came to being pretty decent on 18?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, 17, I hit a driver, I actually kind of overcooked it, a little toe ball, and yesterday, I hit the same shot and it was pretty far back, but I guess the wind is quartering a different direction today and it got way up there.¬† I hit 6‑iron in there and tried to hit a draw from the right side of the green and it went right where you want to hit it on 17 below the hole and I hit had a one firm enough finally so it went right in from about 15 feet.
And then 18, actually, 18 was‑‑ I killed that drive.¬† And it actually got down there where I was almost in‑between clubs, 3‑wood and hybrid, and that's not a shot you want to be in‑between clubs on.¬† You want to be able to try and kill one.
So maybe should have hit the hybrid and just come up ten yards short and then just pitched it from there.¬† But I tried to hit that 3‑wood and almost just punch/draw it.¬† It wasn't that close to being good.¬† I think it needed another 20 yards left I think.
The third shot was pretty close.¬† That was a tough lie into the rough into the grain sitting on top of the grass so it could come outgoing this far or come out landing past the pin.¬† I opened the face up and kind of played a bunker shot and it was‑‑ my spot to land it was three yards short of that.¬† It was close.

Q.  You talked about the fact that you had not been in the lead for 54 holes before in a TOUR event, but you clearly have been in situations like that before you got to the TOUR.  How did you address it then and how did you feel going into the final round at the John Deere and final round of Wyndham in regards to those situations and how is that going to be different from this situation?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Well, in the past, I think the biggest key when I was in this position, whether it was college, amateur, junior golf, was not to try and win by one; was to try to get out there, get way ahead and you almost have the mind‑set that you want to go out there and try to win by five shots.¬† That's the only way that I think you can break open and really make some birdies.¬† I think that's the right mind‑set to have.
At the John Deere, I was six back and didn't even cross my mind that I had a chance to win until 15, 16 of that day.  Really, 14 that day.  So that was different.  I was closer at Wyndham.  At Wyndham it was all about chasing them down.  I was still down a few shots.  So this is a little different, so I'm going to try and just kind of rely on the experience from college.
JOHN BUSH:  Jordan, we appreciate your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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