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May 9, 2014

Jordan Spieth


MARK STEVENS:  Like to welcome Jordan Spieth to the interview room.  Jordan, another fine round.  If you would talk about the highlights of your round today and then we'll have a few questions.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, I had a lot of really short length birdie putts today, which is always very nice.
2, 4, 7 was a 6‑footer.
Then 13 was, 13 and 14 were very short.  So I didn't have to grind too much on the greens on those.
But I had a couple key par saves that really kept the momentum going, which I think was big.
On 9 ‑‑ well, really on a good par save on 3, 9, 10, that really just kind of kept it alive.
But other than that, it was pretty stress free.  I feel great with my game right now going forward.  But it's just the halfway point, so if I can duplicate those rounds I think that would be a nice goal to have.
MARK STEVENS:  Questions?

Q.  Is it getting boring contending in these big events?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, because I haven't won one.  Or you should probably have to win every time in order for it to get boring.  But not even Tiger gets bored.

Q.  What did you hit into 14 and that hole was pretty difficult today.  You picked up almost a shot and a half on everybody else.  Good drive, good second shot, what was your number, what was your club?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I had 184.  I had 184, with a little wind off the left and into, from the fairway.  It was the same exact shot I hit on 13 with a 6‑iron.  So it's playing 190 or a little more and you try and land it just short.  So couldn't ask for a better number.
I was trying to go a little right of the hole and I hit a little draw and thought the wind would hold it up and it kept turning right at it.  So it was a nice break to land and roll to pin high, because it was a very tricky pin with quite a bit of slope around the hole.
So any putt‑‑ I mean, even Graeme's was eight feet and he had to play it way out and try and hit it easy.  So it was nice to kind of have the straight two and a half, 3‑footer.

Q.  Did you think you were in on 13?
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I thought it was going to be long when it landed, the way it was moving.  I thought it was going to be, not necessarily long, but roll a lot further left.
But I just saw the replay in the booth and it was pretty close, which that would have been pretty exciting there.  I would rather have it on 17 though.

Q.  You had a couple competitive rounds now around this golf course, what are your overall impressions of the golf course and the tournament, how it plays.
JORDAN SPIETH:  I really enjoy the tournament.  I think it actually is‑‑ I think it is the best field in golf.  That's always cool.
Then on a venue like this, a great design, it's receptive, that's why I can hit 6‑iron and have the ball stop within 8, 10 feet.  Because I don't spin the ball or hit it extremely high.
So it's nice to be able to hit hybrids on the par‑5s, land it on the green and have it stop.  Which is making the course play easier.
I think that's going to change this weekend.  I think there's no doubt I've got to be aware that tomorrow, on No. 1, it's going to be firmer than it's been this whole week.
So it's a great golf course, it's been getable those two days, and the greens are putting well.  Whatever concerns they had ahead of time, they're putting nicely.  I'm excited for what the weekend's going to hold with the firmer conditions.

Q.  Seems like every time your name gets mentioned there's this prefix "20‑year‑old Jordan Spieth" as opposed to just Jordan Spieth.  Does it bother you that your age is always brought up?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Doesn't really bother me.  It was 19‑year‑old last year, so I'm actually curious how long it will go before they think I'm too old.  But, no, it doesn't make much of a difference to me.

Q.  I think it was 14, before you tapped that in, you backed off, is that right?  And you tapped the ground down pretty hard when you finished.  I couldn't tell what was going on there.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it was weird, whether it was a spike mark or whatever it was‑‑ no, I don't think it was a spike mark, I think it was just kind of a dead hole that was near where ball was.  When I took my putter back, it snagged into the ground, into the grain there.  So I pulled it back off of and tried to kind of hover my putter the next time, so I didn't hit into it.  And then afterward I wanted to make sure that I tapped it down.
But it was, yeah, it made it look like I was freaking out over it, but I had a good setup and it was a pretty straight putt, I just, when I took it back, it got caught on the ground, for whatever reason.  So I wasn't comfortable with that.

Q.  And secondly, to play bogey‑free here for 36 holes, what kind of achievement do you think that is and do you find this to be a course where you can be passively aggressive?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it's very nice.  I think that would be a great goal going into tomorrow is to try and stay that way.
I think that the fact that I feel very comfortable chipping around these greens makes it a lot easier to hit the second shots in, knowing that I can be a little more aggressive, don't have to play to 30 feet, which is what I started to do in the middle of the round in the back nine here and I made mistakes, like number 10, where I went over the green.
But even with a chip that was off there, I was able to make the putt.
Same with 9.  I could play a little more aggressive golf being comfortable around the greens.
But if I ‑‑ I don't think it's going to be possible to stay bogey‑free for two more rounds with the greens firming up.  That's a nice goal to have, I think.  When bogeys come, it's going to be how I rebound.

Q.  Would you recount your experience playing here in the Junior PLAYERS and how much has that given you some comfort level coming back to a place where you have played before, whether it's playing the Tiger Woods game or seeing it a lot on TV?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I've definitely seen it on TV and I've taken more from that than I think the last time I was here.
What I remember is just the closing few holes with the Sunday pins, which they mix them around a little bit on 16 and 18, I know on the weekend, but that's what I remember coming into 17 into the Sunday pin and facing that challenge.
So it is nice to at least, when I got here on Sunday and got out on the course Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I knew kind of the layout of the holes and where to hit it and where not to hit it and where to practice chipping from.
So I think my preparation was a little better than maybe places I'm not used to.  But it's pretty hard to take anything from three, four years ago with different tee boxes and different conditions.

Q.  What did you do on 17 and how much does it nag you that you didn't win?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I hit it right at the pin and it went to about three or four feet and made it.  So that may be the worst thing that could have happened on Sunday this week, knowing that I have pulled it off before, I may think I can do it again, when it's maybe not the smart choice.  But hopefully we're in that position.
But, yeah, I remember playing well that Sunday.  I wasn't in the final group, I played a good round Sunday or Monday, whatever it was, and I just got beat by a 20‑footer on the last hole.  It was kind of a comeback‑type day and it doesn't really nag me necessarily looking back.
At the time, I'm sure I was disappointed, looking forward to a playoff on 18 of TPC Sawgrass ‑‑ and maybe 17‑‑ but that didn't happen.

Q.  By the time you teed off Martin Kaymer was already pretty much in at 12.  Is that in the back of your mind, do you completely ignore it?

Q.  Was it in your mindset?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I saw he was at 12.  I didn't think that that was going to be possible in the afternoon to catch that.  Especially warming up when the wind started picking up.
But we got fortunate, I think, with the wind.  It was there, but it wasn't really that much of a factor.  So we could still hit certain shots.
Those into the wind holes, number 5 was brutal today.  But all in all, I saw him at 12‑under and still thought that 3‑under was going to be great score for me.  And I told Michael that.  We agreed.  And even par is still a good score.
So we got out there and it was playing a little easier than it seemed like it was going to, and they just kept going for me.

Q.  Was there a point when the ball in the air when it landed on 13 that you thought that was going in?
JORDAN SPIETH:  You know, I thought it might hit the pin, but from our angle it looked like it was going too fast.  It looked like, even if it was on line, it would hit it ‑‑ by the crowd's reaction I knew it was getting close, but I thought that it was going to either hit the pin or it was going to be like 7, 8 feet.
I guess right there, it was‑‑ I guess it wasn't moving that fast, because I saw the replay and it was really close.
So, yeah, on the tee it looked like it had a chance, but it would have had to hit the center of the pin is what I thought.

Q.  What do you know about Martin Kaymer and does he seem old to you?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I know he was former No. 1 in the world.  No, he does not seem old to me.  Is he even 30 yet?
JORDAN SPIETH:  29?  Yeah.  But, obviously, a great player that, I guess he lost the No. 1 in the world, but I know he's been coming back for a while now, playing some good golf.
So 12‑under for two days out here is solid.  Especially with only shooting a few under today, that's kind of a let down round for him.  You would think that he'll come back strong.

Q.  When you hear the name "Martin Kaymer", as you just did a minute ago, do you think first former No. 1 or PGA Champion?  Which one comes to mind first?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Kind of both.  I would say former No. 1 before anything.  Yeah.  I just remember that was a huge deal when he became No. 1 in the world.  I don't remember how old I was, I was probably 15 or 16.  It wasn't that long ago, right?

Q.  A few years ago.
JORDAN SPIETH:  No, I was 18.

Q.  May have been 15?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, sorry, that's 20 percent of my life, so I don't really know.
MARK STEVENS:  All right.  Well, thanks for your time, Jordan.  Good luck tomorrow.

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