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April 10, 2014

Jordan Spieth

Q.  (Inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  I'm very pleased.  1‑under is a good score.  JP was saying that this was as close to as difficult as he's seen it on a Thursday, and you can tell it by the scoreboard.  I'm only, I think, three shots, max, off the lead.
I had a couple of chances and missed a couple of shorter chances, but made up for them today and stayed really patient, consistent.  My only two bogeys being three‑putts where my speed was just off on the first putt.  I can take a lot from that.  And that's very positive going forward because, you know, you're going to have some putts that make you scratch your head out here.  And to only have a couple of them in my first round, it should only improve.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I completely agree.  I think it was, here and there, I'm not going to really scoreboard watch the rest of the week.  I don't feel the need to.  But it is nice to know that there's only one 4‑under and that's a heck of a round in these conditions.
It is nice to know that it is playing that difficult, and to see the two guys in my group at on the board at one point was nice, that they were worthy of being up there, meaning they were close to the lead.
So, yeah, it definitely let's you know the course is playing difficult, but it was also cool to see some of the guys that have played the tournament for so long have their name on the board for a while.  And of course Freddie, who is going to contend for another ten years, it seems like, out here, making a move, as well.

Q.  What happened at 12 to keep the momentum going?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, that was big.  12 is exactly what the hype is all about.  Not only do you have the swirling wind and the greens perfectly shaped, shorter on the left and longer on the right, but at the same time your first few times you play it, you know, there's so much adrenaline.  So you're just going to stripe the ball.  And that makes it even harder, because you don't want to hit 9‑iron into the wind.
So it put it in a tough position.  I actually asked Michael, shall I go at it and try to hit the perfect shot here, if it comes out way too firm it could go in the water.  He said why don't you go ahead and hit it out to the right and give yourself some room.  And I decided to listen there and landed it on the fringe and it was 15, 18‑footer up the hill and that dropped.  Definitely kept the momentum going.  It's tricky.  Maybe I'll listen to him on the tee shot next time.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  I punched an 8.  It was 156 into the breeze.  It was supposed to be into a wind.  And I tried to hit it 160 shot thinking it was still short.  And same on 15 on my third shot.  It was a wind swirling day and very, very difficult greens to putt on.  So all in all‑‑

Q.  Do you to have (inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, you have to dial it down here, no doubt about it.  You can't be aggressive.  You can see certain spots where Rory hit shots that looked like they were off line, but in fact they were right where they needed to be versus maybe going more towards the pin.
And 17 was a perfect example.  Patrick hit on the downslope, it was an unlucky break.  But mine went right at the hole.  It was two feet, perfect, but then I'm left with an upper ridge putt.  Rory got a wedge, hits it out to the left 15 feet.  It was right on where his target was.
Certain holes like that that you see shots that he hits that he knows the golf course.  And we're still learning it.  But in the process of learning if you can shoot under par, then you're in good shape.

Q.  Standing on the first tee ready to drive, compare that feeling to any other event that's not a Major?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It was‑‑ I kind of‑‑ I don't know if it's on camera or not, but as I walked kind of visualizing my shot to the ball I kind of had a smile on my face.  I just soaked it in, it was really cool.  Just six, seven deep along the sides of the tee box and it is a relative easy tee shot, compared to the rest of the golf course, some of the other holes.  But you need to really pick your spot.  And I just wanted to soak it in.  I was watching the ball and from there adrenaline came in.

Q.  On 13, coming off that‑‑
JORDAN SPIETH:  13, I'm hitting into the pine straw, and tried to punch it 75 yards out and I hit it really, really good.  I got lucky.  Had a really good angle.  When I hit it I thought it was right next to the hole.  I thought it was going to check there, but it was a firmer kick, is what I was told, but it kind of had a back kick to get above the hole, which is not where you want to be on 13.  But I trusted the putt and it was true.  And that was a very, very nice putt to get in knowing that there was still going to be a couple more birdie opportunities.  I played in 1‑over from there.  But to play Amen Corner 1‑under I'd take that.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, it was going a little left of it.  I was trying to get halfway between the pin and kind of the edge of the bunker, which, if I hit it right there, it would have been fine.  But at the same time my head, I've got 9‑iron, and a really good number, so I figured if I kind of cut it a little bit it may end up perfect.  And I knew if you get too far left there, the fastest uphill putt on the course, and it's difficult to get in in two.
So part of that was me not firmly focusing on that spot.  I knew where the safe play was, but got a little too aggressive, which is my nature, and what you can't necessarily have out here.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, we didn't play much.  We played here and there.  He was always four years older, so I never really played against him in the same tournament until some amateur golf.  But not in college, either.  And I remember going down the stretch at Jones Cup one year, and obviously, you know, played quite a bit of golf last year, including playoffs.  So he's had a couple of fantastic victories since that one.  Obviously in style at Palm Springs and Doral was the biggest one.  He's a great player.  He's beating some of the best fields in golf.  And I'm sure he'll come back with a low one tomorrow.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  It was a cool pairing.  I mean Patrick is from Texas, lives in Texas, which is kind of nice when you see the International field to have a fellow Texan with you.
And then I've played some golf with Rory, very easy to play with.  And I really enjoyed playing with him, he roots for me.  We had good talks on the fairway and whatnot.  And he's obviously former No.1 and a Major champion at 25 or 26, whatever he is.

Q.  24?
JORDAN SPIETH:  24, sorry.  24.  I think he's more of a football/soccer fan.  And I'm more of a football/football fan (laughter).

Q.  You mentioned learning today.  What's the biggest thing you learned out there do you think?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Certain lag putts.  You just have so many 40‑footers.  There's nothing you can do about it.  And the different influences of certain holes, where the slowest putts on the course are, where the uphill but fast putts are.  I think what I'll probably do is go back and write down which putts I had, what they did, and how the speed was, compared to what I thought.  That way I can start creating almost a greens' book for this course because knowing the slopes doesn't always mean you know the breaks out here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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