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May 8, 2014

Jordan Spieth


Q.  Talk about your round, what you felt you could get out of it.  You were having trouble scoring early, but the back nine you turned it around.
JORDAN SPIETH:  I felt comfortable all day.  Felt comfortable from really the first hole.  I tried to stay patient, I hit the pin on, what was it?  It was, I want to say, 12.  I had a good number and it just took one hop and instead of sitting next to the hole, hit the pin and came back 12 feet or so.
So I felt like I was playing solid golf, needed to stay patient, and Michael and I did a great job of that.
Then we got to the back nine and the putt on 18 fell and then on 1 fell.  And that turned things.
With the putter in my hand I felt a lot more comfortable there and made a few more coming in to post a solid back nine.

Q.  What's the best piece of advice you've had received from players about playing this course?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Not a whole lot.¬† The course is apparently extremely different than it normally is.¬† It's normally a lot firmer and this week, at least this morning, you could hit 7‑, 8‑iron in and land them next to the hole and they will stay there.
So I didn't really seek too much on this golf course.  I had played here before, I played a tournament here before, so I was kind of drawing, trying to draw on that experience.
But playing along Zach and Graeme, both who have had success here and obviously everywhere, you can kind of play off different shots that they're hitting, if they're teeing off first.

Q.  Did you feel apprehensive going up from the 16th to the 17th?  It's become so notorious.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Definitely a little bit.  You start looking over.  It's such a dinky little hole, it seems so easy.  It's just a little wedge.  And we caught it a little down breeze today, it wasn't too windy, and with that front pin it's about as getable as it can get.
But, yeah, when you walk up to that tee, you definitely know that you need to strike it solid and really commit to a shot.  So I can't say I wasn't nervous on that tee box.

Q.  You didn't have a lot of time at RBC to digest what happened at the Masters.  After a little bit of rest, how did you digest it and what have you decided it take from that?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, I went over, really, almost hole by hole, stats with my instructor.  We do that on kind of the whole four week stretch that I was in, but an emphasis on Augusta, because Augusta doesn't have the Shot Link stats.  So we can to kind of go over them ourselves.
I took lot of positives.¬† That golf course was playing so difficult and really had a great game plan going in, didn't waste any shots there.¬† Just looked back and saw a couple bad bounces on ‑‑ the ball goes forward, on 8, like I thought, and then 9 and 12 carry another yard, then it's a completely different golf tournament.
Looking back I could take a lot of confidence from that, knowing that we made the right decisions, Michael and I handled the emotions well, made the right decisions, I just barely mishit one here or I didn't quite commit to the line by a foot or two here.  So normally that doesn't hurt you, but at Augusta it can.

Q.  You played out here as a junior?  Were you able to draw on that experience from today?
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† Yeah.¬† Not today.¬† In the practice rounds I knew kind of where to, going in at least I knew what the hole shapes were, where to put the ball to certain pins, and have an idea of that, to hit shots in the practice round, which will ultimately help.¬† And it's just, it's definitely ‑‑ any experience is great experience on a golf course like this and it was nice that it was playing a little softer, we were able to fire at some more pins that you normally can't.
So I don't look to that, I don't look for that to be the same tomorrow afternoon.  So we'll see.

Q.  (No Microphone.)
JORDAN SPIETH:¬† No, I don't think any different than anywhere else.¬† You really got to ‑‑ I do that on every hole.¬† You're picking the shot to where, if you miss it, you have the best opportunity to make par.¬† Whether that's a 20‑footer or whether that's an up‑and‑down out of a bunker or the rough.¬† I don't think it's any different here.
But that's what I've really changed in my game over the last year after playing so many PGA TOUR golf courses is learning how to play the smart shot, commit to more lines that are safer and strike the ball at those lines.  Sometimes you overdo it and it goes right next to the hole.  But less and less I'm putting myself in really tough positions and short siding myself.

Q.  Talk about your first round of the PLAYERS today.  What was the most important thing to take away from it?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It was fun.  I got some of that stuff out of the way in the practice round too.  It's such a cool golf course.  I've watched it for so many years.
To be able to play it with Zach and Graeme, two great guys that are obviously extremely good players, and I think we have pretty similar games, so it's nice to go around and kind of feed off each other and it was great that we were all making some birdies.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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