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May 15, 2014

Jordan Spieth


Q.  Jordan, you scuffled a bit out there today but you were able to bounce back, and birdie two of the last three.  What are you able to take away from today?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I kept myself in it, I think.  It was a difficult day.  The pins are almost the hardest pins you can have; on Thursday that's rare.  With the way the wind is playing, the southwest wind, it's tough to get at a lot of them, and on top of that, I didn't hit many fairways, but I putted well and hung in there and had a couple of key up and downs in the middle of the round to keep it going and ultimately there may be a low score from this afternoon, but I don't think there will be too many of them so I should still be in it.

Q.  A little erratic with the driver today after a long week at the PLAYERS.  Was there any fatigue or was it just one of those days where your timing was off?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, no, I don't think it was fatigue.  The last couple of days I've been trying to get it up in the air a little more and I've been mishitting it a little bit, so I lost a little control over the curvature on it.  I like to move it both ways, and out here you maybe just need to pick one shot and go with it.  So I'm going to go to the range and figure it out.  It was getting off a little bit in the wind Monday and Tuesday, and the tough weather here, I need to get it back to where I've got a shot I can go to.

Q.  This is basically a home game for you, fourth time playing in the Byron Nelson, first time as a guy who is in the Top‑10 in the world, and you're one of the headliners or the "guy" this week.  What are the expectations like as the guy who has this massive gallery?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I don't think of it‑‑ I don't think of myself as up there as far as ranking.  I always want to play well at this event.  I put a lot of stress‑‑ not stress, I put a lot of expectations on myself for this week because I've played well here in the past, and it's a tournament close to my heart, and I would love to make a run at it.
I don't look at that negatively.  I think it's a positive thing, and the fact that there will be big crowds tomorrow and hopefully Saturday and Sunday and I can feed off that.  Everyone is just so awesome out here.  To see old friends that have come out today to support me, I can take a lot of positives from that.

Q.  You finished well.  Talk about your round.
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, it was a nice finish.  All in all, I wasn't putting myself in great positions off the tee but actually had some good looks, and I hit a lot of really good putts today that didn't quite go in, and there were two swings that were a little too aggressive.
I was in a tough position on 14 and hit a shot that was border line perfect but ended up in the water, led to a bogey.  And the drive on 3, I think I lined up a little too far right and put too much curve on it instead of hitting a straight one out there, and if it goes in the sand it goes in the sand.  That's a tough hole.
Ultimately I'm really happy with the way I'm keeping myself in it around the greens.  I feel very confident and comfortable around the greens and once I hit a few fairways, my iron play will be there and hopefully get back on track and make a run.

Q.  How different is it now from when you played here three or four years ago?
JORDAN SPIETH:  It's night and day.  It's completely different.  I've played I don't know how many TOUR events now, almost 40 now going back to when I played as an amateur.  Yeah, that makes it a different feeling on the first tee.  So there were no nerves today, just got out there, a little adrenaline on the first, knowing that I'm here, and after that, got off to a good start on 10, first hole, thought that I had a couple of other good looks that didn't quite go in, but turned around in the middle of the round.
I think given how many tournaments I've played to this point, it would have been really hard for me to bounce back from the double on 3, way back when, with all the emotion running through.  I was upset today.  I get upset out here when things aren't going my way because I want them to so bad.  Michael did a great job of calming me down, putting things in perspective, and we got a couple to finish to get back in it.

Q.  Is it harder to play here than it would be somewhere else with so many friends and family around?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I don't know if it's harder.  It's a home game.  I really want to play well here.  That's not going to affect me, I don't think, in any way on the course.  Off the course it's a lot of fun because my friends are back from school now, and I'm able to go hang with them and get away from the game and talk about the experience that I missed out on at college.  Good stories there.  It's not affecting me in any way.  I don't think it's harder necessarily to play here, I just want to play better.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  Of course.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JORDAN SPIETH:  It's a little late now; he's not going to see this.  (Laughter.)  I think he's got‑‑ he's definitely got the game for it.  He's got the mental attitude and the confidence for it.  I've watched him for quite a while and played against him, and he's probably beat me more than I've beat him, and I wouldn't be surprised if he posts a good round.  He's going to have a lot of great support.  It will be cool seeing a couple of shots when the crowd is out there, maybe reliving the way it was when I was a senior in high school.

Q.  What do you remember from the morning before the tournament, getting ready to play here as an amateur?
JORDAN SPIETH:  I remember my first year when I was 16 I stayed at home‑‑ my parents' house the night before and there was a big storm and I was already woke up, couldn't sleep, and I started to come out here and found out that they were on a delay.  I got out here was sitting around, and I ended up teeing off at 5:30 instead of 2, and it was the worst thing that could have happened.
I had to sit around for quite a while and get out to No. 10, and I knew I wasn't going to play a full round.  That was tough.  Tough on me to just, you know, stay loose, but not too loose.  You want to get out there and play your game, but I remember how much the blood was running and I wanted to close my eyes on the first tee shot, but it's funny looking back that now.

Q.  Talk about the conditions of the wind.  It does change how this course plays, doesn't it?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, this is the wind we probably expect this time of year, this south, southeast, southwest today.  The pins were extremely difficult for a Thursday.  They were on some of the hardest locations on most of the holes so they were hard to get to.  I really feel like I played solid golf today, other than those two swings, maybe hit the fairway on 3, maybe I post a 2‑under, which would be right in it.  But the conditions are difficult.  We'll see what happens this afternoon, a little gusty wind.  Even on a course that's softer right now because of the conditions, I still feel like even par is in the game.

Q.  Jordan, you called this your "home game."  Do you notice the crowds are different here than anywhere else?
JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, a little bit.  I see a lot of shirts from my high school even back to grade school, and a lot of Longhorn stuff.  It's cool.  I see a lot of people I recognize, so that's obviously a lot different.  Yeah, the crowds‑‑ it was significantly different when we got to No. 1 green, our 10th hole today.  I guess people wanted to sleep in till about 10 instead of getting up at 7:40.  No, it was cool, we had a great following on the back nine, and when things weren't going well it was nice to hear them cheer me on to keep it going, so tomorrow afternoon I'm sure will be crazy, which will be a lot of fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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