Media Center Interviews
April 5, 2019
Second Round Interview with Jordan Spieth
Q. We were just chatting, Jordan, a little bit of a box of chocolates, you sort of had a little bit of everything going today, 68. Talk a little bit about the distance control you were struggling with with your irons, but your short game was spot on today.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, early on it was tough because it was cooler, but you have these firm greens that have some moisture on them. So downwind the ball just keeps on going, and then into the wind with that cool air, it just goes nowhere. I missed greens, made a couple bogeys with wedges from the fairway, which is unlike me. But made up for it by playing the par 5s really well. Certainly a bonus with that hole-out on 8. That holed-out wedge kind of made up for those ones that missed the greens. But all in all I think I progressed today from yesterday and that's all I'm looking forward to do day to day.
Q. Talk a little bit about your plan for the weekend. Imperative to hit fairways here. It is tough, isn't it, to play from those little shrubby trees, these native areas?/p>
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I've probably hit the least amount of fairways of anyone near the top of the leaderboard, but I started to really figure out why and a good fix for it. I felt more in control of the driver even when I missed fairways there on the back nine. So I'm going to just try and work on that a little bit on the range, just try -- clearly if I hit more fairways, right now I feel good about the rest of my game.
Q. Well, Jordan, some fireworks at 11 and then on your second-to-last hole with an eagle. Your wedge game was on fire. Take us through those two holes and what you saw.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I probably pulled the wrong club off the tee and got myself in trouble on 11, and then just slid under the ball really nicely on that chip shot, landed right on my spot, just trickled in. Certainly a bonus, I was just trying to make 4.
And then I had a good number to hit a full sand wedge in on No. 8, and in the air I thought it was going to be pretty good. Certainly for it to bounce and spin back left to get in the hole, that's not exactly what you're -- I mean, it's kind of what you're trying to do, but you don't really expect it to happen. A couple bonuses there from maybe stealing a couple strokes, but all in all I'm very happy with where I stand through 36.
Q. Yesterday you were not happy with your work off the tee. Fortunately, your approach shots saved you. How about today, where did you feel like you really improved?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I had more control with my long clubs today, and they'll tighten up I think day to day, which is good. Still didn't hit many fairways, but it felt better, if that makes sense. So normally the better results come from the club starting to feel more in control. So I'll just do a little bit of light work this afternoon and go into the weekend with a chance to win.
Q. You've been playing here since 2015. We're just now seeing the wind pick up, but how do you anticipate the course playing with the little bit of weather coming through tomorrow?
JORDAN SPIETH: Pretty similar. I mean, if we do get rain and the greens are a little softer, it could be more scorable. But we didn't have any wind on the 36 holes that we played, so it's about as perfect conditions as we could have. Then when the wind picks up, it's a different animal out here. Probably expect if I could duplicate what I did the first two days, that's certainly the goal.
Q. Jordan, I guess it's just one shot, but it sure sent a jolt of electricity through the crowd, for you and Mike as well. Tell me about the wedge on No. 8.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I had 116. My 56-degree goes kind of 112, could push it to 115, and a little downwind right to left, so I had a really good number, just needed to commit to the shot and toss it on line and in the air. It looked pretty good, so I thought it would be within 10 feet. Bonus for it to drop.
Q. Big bonus, a lot of energy for you. How tough has it been to trust the process throughout the last year or so to know that you're doing the right things, to know that it eventually is going to pay off?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, for a while I didn't know if I was doing the right things, and then once I started to know I was doing the right things, that's when the real kind of patience, the need for patience started to come. It's getting better each day. Match Play I shot three under-par rounds last week. I had a goal to shoot four under-par tournament rounds in a row and after yesterday's round I accomplished that. Just trying to accomplish these little goals at a time that continue to bring results, but not focused on the results, if that makes sense, just focusing on short-term goals. This weekend I'll have one set that will give me an opportunity to win.
Q. We have you hitting 11 of 28 fairways. Is that a concern going into the weekend?
JORDAN SPIETH: Because these fairways are really difficult to hit. Certainly the one part of my game that I would like to see improve over the weekend, there's no question, but I've been for the most part in position where I could still reach the greens. If it's just off the fairway and without much rough, I can get away with it, but getting away with it normally isn't good enough to win.
Q. Any big differences you noticed between Round 1 and Round 2?
JORDAN SPIETH: Pretty similar overall, I thought. I think if I looked at both rounds, I would call it almost identical. I mean, I had a couple bogeys with wedges from the fairway early in the round that is just really unlike me, but then holing one out certainly makes up for that.
It was kind of tough getting used to the conditions, like the moisture on the ground this morning. With it being a little cooler, the ball just wouldn't spin, it just keeps on going, so I miss played that a couple times. But once it dried up and it got a little warmer, I started to play well.
Q. How many hole-outs for the year now, do you know?
JORDAN SPIETH: I'm not sure. I have quite a few this year now that I started to -- I started getting my chipping and my wedge play back in form. This feels more like, you know, the way it should be, to be honest. It's like me, I guess. I told Michael I already have more than all of last year combined, I know that, and we always have a wager on it has to be more than the previous year, so at least I won that bet already.
Q. The gallery seemed to enjoy you and Jhonattan playing together, a couple UT guys. What's your thoughts on that?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it was great. I mean, San Antonio has a big Longhorn presence and we certainly felt it out there, but also just being Texas guys, seeing the amount of kids that were out there, it's always really cool to see that. I like playing with Jhonny, too, and Billy. I've played well when we've been paired together, all three of us. I'm down for that pairing any time.
Q. Were you able to connect with Dylan and Cody, you know, your former Longhorn teammates in the tournament before the tournament started?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean, I see them. Dylan played a practice round behind us, I think, on Tuesday. I see Cody throughout the week quite a bit. Dylan played pretty well last week, which is great to see.
Q. Kind of old home week for you?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, yeah. Always rooting for the guys, yeah. I don't know how they've done so far in their two rounds, though, but certainly wish them the best.
Q. Was there any offseason emphasis on short game and stuff that you credit making more -- holing out more shots or just like getting back to the level you are?
JORDAN SPIETH: For me, it's been all visual, it's been all setup related, and I'm starting to get more and more comfortable when I'm set up so I don't have to use my hands as much.
The big muscles are taking over and that just makes me more consistent and makes my distance control more consistent, and around the greens it makes me feel like I can bottom out where I want to, which I wasn't doing into the second half of last year and even into January, February. So I don't have to think about impact as much now, which is certainly nice.