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April 13, 2014

Jordan Spieth


MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Like to welcome Jordan Spieth to the interview room.  Jordan shot a final round even par 72 to finish in a tie for second in his Masters debut.
Before we take some questions, Jordan, could you briefly comment on the round today?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Sure.  You know, going in, it's difficult to sleep I think at my age in the position that was going to be today, and I slept pretty well.  I woke up around 8:15, 8:30.  I was trying to sleep until 9:45, but I can't do that.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep.
It's tough.  I mean, It's tough waiting that long to come out here and play this round.  I went through the same exact routine, had the same warm up on the range, felt very comfortable.  I didn't strike it incredibly well on the range, but sometimes those are my best rounds.
Went over to the first tee and got off to kind of a dream start for Sunday at Augusta.¬† It's just so hard to play the first seven holes, I would say, well out here, and I was 3‑under through the first seven.¬† So if you told me that when I woke up this morning, I would have thought, you know, it would be difficult for me to not win this golf tournament.
But 8 and 9 were the turning points of the day.
When I got to 10 tee box, I still believed that I could win the tournament, no doubt about it.¬† I still thought that Bubba‑‑ with the way the golf course was playing, after No. 10, as well, thought that I may be able to really kick into the lead.
And I had a putt on 11 to get back to tied.
So from there on, he played incredible golf.¬† His drive on 13, I'll never forget.¬† I thought that it was out‑of‑bounds 70 yards left and it's perfect (laughter).¬† And I guess he knew that when he hit it, too.¬† Ultimately, hats off to him.
I felt like I could take a ton of positives out of this week going forward.  I feel like I'm ready to win.  It's just a matter of time and maybe a little bit of course knowledge.
But Bubba Watson is a deserving Masters Champion this year, and that was some incredible golf he played down the stretch to hold it together and make his pars.

Q.  How far ahead was Bubba to you on 13?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Oh, I bailed out on my drive, so I hit it very far right.  I'm not sure.  I took two shots and I was a little past his ball.  I couldn't tell you.
It's a good set up for him, I'll give him that, to hit that slinging slice.  But I bailed out, so he might have been 100 yards ahead of me.

Q.  Were you aware that it hit a tree?
JORDAN SPIETH:  On 13?  I did not know that.

Q.  It glanced off a tree and came back into the fairway.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, that's his day, I guess.

Q.  A fantastic week and it's never fun to finish second, but talk about the pride factor and when you accomplished this week.
JORDAN SPIETH:  I'm very, very pleased, no doubt.  It stings right now, and the only thing I'm thinking about is when am I getting back next year.  That's what's on my mind, because it's tough.  It's tough being in this position.
Obviously I've worked my whole life to lead Augusta on Sunday, and although I feel like it's very early in my career, and I'll have more chances, it's a stinger.  And I had it in my hands and I could have gone forward with it and just didn't quite make the putts and that's what it came down to.
But ultimately, I'm very happy with the week, happy with the way my game is at going forward for this year, and I've accomplished one of my goals this year, which is to get in contention in a major and see how I can do.  You know, hopefully going forward, I can do that again.  There's still three more this year.

Q.  Can you talk about No. 12 and the club and your reaction?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, 12 is tough.¬† I'm still not sure if you play it the Gary Player way and just try and take as much‑‑ to where if you hit it great, you just barely fly the bunker.¬† I thought I had a good number.¬† There was just no wind at all.¬† It should have been a touch into us.
I had 9‑iron and it goes 150 yards to the hole, like 143 or so on the carry number on the right side, which is the carry number to the bunker, as well.
My caddie, Michael, simply said, "Take it over the right side of that bunker, right at the TV tower.¬† Just get a look at it.¬† This isn't the hole to do it on.¬† Just get yourself a putt; you can drain a 20‑footer."
I got over it and felt like ‑‑ we were trying to throw it up.¬† The breeze was supposed to be into and it felt a little down, and I if smoke a 9‑iron downwind that's going to fly in the back bunker, and that's what that hole does.¬† I mean, that's what that hole is famous for is the swirling winds.¬† So when I got over it, I felt like there was no way it was into.¬† I felt like it was just dead.
I guess I just got a little too aggressive over the ball, played a little bit of a fade instead of just hitting that straight one over the bunker and it caught whatever, couple‑mile‑an‑hour breeze was up there, and made a big difference.¬† When it was in the air, I thought that it was still there.¬† I thought it was really good, actually.¬† And then it just kind of got hit and fell down short.
So that was tough, tough to swallow at that point, because there's still a lot of golf left, and that's what's so underrated about that hole is that you still have six holes left with really a few good birdie opportunities, so there's just no point, even though you have a short iron in your hand.

Q.  On 8, you hit what looked like might be a really good pitch that you were running up and the thing moved a foot.  What was that about?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I don't know if you guys were watching, but it seemed like the greens were pretty firm out here this week (laughter).  Right there especially, that's around where the pin was yesterday, and it was ridiculously firm yesterday.
So I walked up, to a look, and it's infamous how the grain is always mowed into out here.  So into the grain, out of the rough, the ball is not going to spin.  I hit it, and I don't know actually if it was on camera or not, I hit it, and I was calling for it to sit down.  When I hit it, I said, "Sit".  I thought I had thrown it too far for the bounce and roll forward.
Then the crowd didn't react, and I was baffled by it, I really was.  I thought it was a really good shot; if anything, a touch past the hole, which would have been below the hole.  I ran up thinking I would see it kind of drift by it, and it was, whatever, 25 feet short, which was pretty amazing to me hitting into the grain.
From there, I just said, okay, let's knock it close, hit a good speed putt and make par.

Q.  For those of us who saw it, it moved a foot after it hit, maybe two feet.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I pitched the pitchmark.  It wasn't far behind the ball.

Q.  As you're retelling things here, emotion or nerves didn't seem to be part of your narrative as you were playing.
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, I was definitely nervous, but I didn't feel like it made me any‑‑ create any tendencies that would have caused me to hit shots off‑line.
I was nervous, but I enjoyed it.  I was embracing it and I was taking less club.  I had adrenaline, and you know, I enjoyed it.  I had a great time out there today.
I hit shots, even some of the shots like No.17, the flop shot, those shots are really, really hard; that even though I was super nervous on, came out easy, and I'm taking that going forward and I'll be able to draw back on those kind of shots.
But yeah, I was nervous, but I wasn't quite‑‑ not quite as patient today as I was the first three rounds and holding emotions, as well.¬† I was very close.¬† It was still the best I've ever done on a Sunday, and I know that it can only improve from there, and that's what's driving me to get back out.

Q.¬† What was that feeling like coming off No. 7 with a two‑stroke lead at the Masters on Sunday?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Good.  I didn't know what the lead was.  I didn't know where the guys ahead of me were.  I knew where Bubba was at, but I didn't look at the scoreboard at all.  First time I looked at it was probably 15, 15 or 16.  But I knew Bubba at the time was the one to chase, so I didn't feel the need to look at the scoreboard.

Q.  What was the byplay like for the last round of a Masters on a Sunday, it looked like it was pretty relaxed between you and Bubba.  What was the give and take like?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It was.  We've played a little golf together before, and I think we both have respect for each other.  And obviously as a past Masters Champion and a guy I've watched growing up, I was looking forward to playing with him and battling it out.
You know, it's just another round to us, and I felt like that was going to help us both out and we approached it like that.  Yeah, we were walking down the fairway talking about anything.  We were messing with each other just like we always do.
Our caddies are really close, so we were joking around about Michael rooting for him and Teddy rooting for me (laughter), but it was a good time.  Whether my face showed it or not on the back nine, I was really, really enjoying myself and taking it all in.
Certain shots, you know, just when you want it so bad and so hard right when you strike it, you know it's a little off‑line, but when you walked up to each green, the standing ovation coming down the back nine of Augusta is a feeling I won't forget.

Q.  Can you take us through 9, your ball rolling back to you, and then how you felt coming off of 9, having lost four shots?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah, I had a good number.¬† I had a 9‑iron again, which was a nemesis today, and I felt if I hit a really solid shot with my 9‑iron, it was going to be a perfect club.¬† You're hitting off the downslope of the grain with the ball below your feet; it's a difficult shot.
It's an underrated shot. ¬†It's not a standard, on‑the‑driving‑range 9‑iron.¬† You really have to work towards being aggressive at the ball, and I may have just picked it up just a little early hoping to see it go right at the hole, and I just thought it caught it a little thin.¬† And I had to hit it very solid for it to be the right club and to get there, and I saw it hit in the bank, thought it would climb up.¬† I was kind of surprised to see it come back down.
Hit a really great pitch shot and a great putt.  I mean, the putt was super hard from five feet there.  I had to play it a foot outside the hole and just touch it and hope it takes the right break.  Thought I made it.
Going to 10, I told Michael, hey, I just barely missed the iron, and the hole before we got what I thought was a bad break on the chip shot, so I was still fine.  I was still playing solid golf and I felt that way.
He told me to keep on believing, keep on believing, and I did.¬† So although there were two two‑stroke swings because Bubba played them so well, I didn't feel any‑‑ I didn't feel any rush or any kind of extra tension.¬† I still felt confident going into the back nine.
MODERATOR:  Great tournament, and we'll look forward to seeing you next year.

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