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January 6, 2014

Jordan Spieth


Q.  Jordan, you had a great week, two bogey‑free rounds.  Those are hard to come by this week, but you must still feel disappointed after coming one shot from the win.  Tell us about that?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I think it's a great start to the year.  From the Presidents Cup on, I had some changes to make in my game.  It worked really hard, especially the last three weeks from Tiger's event on, very hard, because I wanted to prevent the mistakes I made with hazard balls, water balls or errant tee shots.  So I made the changes necessary, and I was happy to not have the ball in the hazard this week, and only made two bogeys for four rounds.  I mean, I can't ask for much more other than on this course to capitalize on some putts on some of the easy holes.
It was a great battle today.  I knew that it would be difficult.  I figured the number was going to be around 19 going in, and that's what it felt like even through nine holes today.  I kept on telling Michael that I needed to get three birdies, at least, or three birdies for a playoff.  Keep reminding me you need three, you need three.  I just waited too long.  I mean, I was very pleased with the finish being able to birdie the last two holes and at least have somewhat of a chance on 18 there.  But, ultimately, 14, 15, 16, really kind of hit me hard in the middle of the back nine.

Q.  Jordan, I believe it was your first time entering the final round with a share of the lead.  Just your impressions of that versus going into a Thursday morning, Friday morning?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, honestly, I didn't sleep a whole lot differently.  Got out, went through the same exact routine, hit the ball the same on the range, putted the same.  Nothing was really different this week.  I didn't have an unbelievable warm‑up or a bad warm‑up.  So just kind of everything was normal.  I was in a good place this week.  I felt really comfortable, and there were a couple shots I needed to work on for next week, but ultimately it's a cool experience.  I'll learn from the mistakes.  But, honestly, I was very happy with how patient I was.  Mentally I felt like it was one of the best rounds I've ever played.  To be in that position, a new position, and to really not make any mental mistakes or get too‑‑ I started getting really anxious on 14, 15, 16 when it wasn't going my way there.  But to be able to stay with it, close it out, and be bogey‑free and having a share of the lead, no matter what the golf course is, I'm definitely happy with that.

Q.  First of all, was this your first time in the final group as well?
JORDAN SPIETH:  On Sunday, yeah.

Q.  Secondly, could you take us through 15 because I think you liked your second shot there, and what did you hit in there and how shocked were you at the turn of events for that hole?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it's a tough tee shot.  It's a scary tee shot for me because those are the kind of holes where I've led them astray in the past couple events.  So each round I just pulled it a little bit and left myself with the ball below my feet and kind of a tough shot.
Today I had 252 front edge adjusted for ten yards uphill.  I took out a hybrid.  I was going to hit 3‑wood, and Michael and I both decided that with some adrenaline and straight downwind my hybrid, if I get it up in the air flies 240 on a normal day.  So downwind, that should fly to the front edge.
When I hit it, I yelled yes.  I mean, it was exactly what I wanted.  I hammered one.  It didn't quite get high enough, I knew that.  But it must have been going 200 miles an hour.  I mean, I hit it hard.  I figured I hit a 3‑wood, I think it was the second round.  Same thing happened where it hit the bank and came down.  That one I was sure it was there.  If it wasn't, it was on the fringe up on the green.
I thought I had a putt.  I was very surprised.  I asked the guy, where is it?  He said it came all the way down the hill.  I knew it was in a good position there even though I was so shocked it didn't quite get up.  I didn't see the one a couple days ago or today.  I don't know how close it was to climbing up to the top of the hill.  You guys may know.  Pretty close?  So, that's how it is.
Then I had a pretty easy shot.  Honestly, it was down grain.  No excuses.  Down grain on the chip shot.  That's a very basic shot for me.  Actually a lot easier than the shot I hit on 9, and 9 went to a foot.  I just needed to get it up in the air, fly it on the front half of the green, and it would take a hop next to the hole, and Idecelerated on it.  Just not a great shot.  I just didn't play it long enough.  That's just what it came down to there.

Q.  Jordan, great week obviously.  But one shot out of the playoff, is there any one shot or maybe a couple that stand out and you said, man, I really wanted that one back?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I won't kill myself with that.  Other than 15 with the pitch shot, that was really the shot today that I felt was really the only bad shot, the only bad shot that I hit all day.  Give it a couple more yards and I've got to putt for eagle and who knows what happens there.  I may not have even had it.  But that was‑‑ I'm not going to kill myself looking back.  I made a great par save, and then I could look at some putts here and there.
But these greens did a great job placing the pins on the side hills where the grain goes the other way, because I misread my first ten putts today.  I mean, I was close.  I hit good putts, and then when you see that many miss, you start doubting a little bit and start getting tension in the hands and that's what happened.

Q.  How much do you look forward to and how much do you want to get back here?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Very much so.  I think it's a great golf course for me.  This is the first time I've seen it.  I love playing off side slopes, trying to just wing it.  I'm more of a feel based player.  I'm not very technical.  I love playing in the wind, and I love Bermuda.  So all in all, this is, I think, a perfect golf course for me.  One of the best for my game that I've ever played.

Q.  During the broadcast Johnny talked about, I think, the first one was the putt at 16 where he thought maybe you were a little nervous and maybe rushed it a little.  14 putting it in the bunker, you're trying to get it in the green, don't get there.  How much is that under review?  And 15 you talked about a little.  Is this one of those situations where you tried to stay in the moment and were struggling with it or did you find you got yourself out of the moment at times?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I was trying not to look at the scoreboard and ultimately started to towards the end of the round.  That's something I might fix.  But 14 I sat back on the tee box.  My original thought was to hit 3‑wood for the first time and give myself 70 yards with a wedge shot.  Then I said, you know what?  This is a comfortable shot for me.  I hit three great drives in a row.  I can just fade a driver up there, and I just hit it real really thin.  It didn't change the way I was thinking.  I knew I was tied going the lead at the time or 1‑back.  I hit a good bunker shot.
16, that's just what I do on those putts.  That's my tendency.  I've hit some great putts this week on downhill left‑to‑right sliders and I've made them.  Putts that have to start outside the hole.  But for some reason I get over that and I see the hole, and I don't trust it's going to break that much from such a short length.  That happened all last year.  That's just something that I've needed to work on.  Same on 14, but the other way.  I thought that was going to be a straighter putt with the grain holding it to the right.  Ultimately, if I started it right‑center, right‑edge like our first instinct was, it would have gone in.  I think I may have pulled it a little bit.
But it wasn't necessarily nerves on that.  That was just, I think second guessing.  I wasn't out of the moment.  I was just almost second guessing because I had misread so many putts early in the round.

Q.  When you get in this spot again, why wouldn't you look at the leaderboard on the back nine?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, my mindset going in, this was a new experience for me.  So I just wanted to go with the fact that I wanted to try to win the tournament by five shots.  I told Michael I wanted to get three birdies on the front, three birdies on the back, and that should do it, and it would have.
I think the mindset of trying to win by five versus just trying to compete or almost play Match Play against the guys, I think is a better option.  So I was trying not to look at the board, trying to just get myself to 20‑under.  Then I started looking just a little bit, which didn't really affect me.
But in the future I'd probably just‑‑ I think I just need to play my own game.  I start looking at the board, and I start looking ahead and seeing everyone clap for Zach for birdies, and ultimately that can't have a positive impact on any of my game.  So I think in the future I'll just kind of keep it to myself.

Q.  Was the whole process fun?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it was fun.  It was very stressful out there, but I was very patient with it.  That was the key, that's what Michael was telling me.  Every hole, be patient, be patient.  You'll get your chances, and capitalize on your chances.  They'll come, just like they did the last few days, and ultimately shot 4‑under, which is a good round in the gusty winds out here, and I did have my chances.  It just came down to execution on the greens.
But it was fun.  I had a great time.  I'm looking forward to trying to get to the final group next week.

Q.  Did that chip for eagle on the last hole not do what you expected it to do?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, with how much downwind it is and then it's all down grain to the back of that green, I just thought if I got a little pace going over the edge‑‑ you know, you want to get it to the hole when you have to make it to tie.  But ultimately from that distance, you start trying to hit and you hit it too hard, and it has to hit the pin in the center of the hole to go in.  So you're trying to make the putt with perfect speed.  That's probably a 1 out of 50 putt there.  So it did exactly what I thought it would do.  I just thought it would be a little faster speedwise.  With the break, if I hit it any harder, it would have skidded the hole.

Q.  Sony next week, are you glad you have that to go into or would you rather have a week off?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I'm glad.  History shows from last year that I've played better after I've played the week before.  There wasn't much rust this week.  I was very happy about that.  But next week's a tight golf course and flatter and a different golf course.  I'm playing really well.  So when you're playing really well, why not go right into another event.

Q.  If you weren't out here and still just a golf fan, and told only two players under the age of 40 had more than ten wins on the PGA TOUR.  You'd guess Tiger, but would you guess Zach was the other?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, probably not.  I know Dustin's getting up there, but, no.  That's awesome.  Was this his 10th win?
11th?  Probably not.  He's won three times in the last four months, five months?  He's on fire, so is Dustin.  Webb is playing really well.  Jason's playing really well.  Everyone toward the top of the leaderboard is playing great golf.  So I'm happy to be in the mix and look forward to improving it next time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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