2015 Valspar Championship: Final Round

2015 Valspar Championship

Jordan Spieth's Comments After Winning 2015 Valspar Championship

DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome the winner of 2015 Valspar Championship, Jordan Spieth. Congratulations on your second career PGA Tour win. I know when you came into the week the Valspar Championship meant a lot to you for obvious reasons and now it certainly has taken that to a whole other level. With that said, you move to No. 7 in the FedExCup standings and I'll turn it over to you. I know it was a great week.

JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah. Told Michael after last week I thought we got a lot of momentum.  My swing, felt the same move that I was feeling in my swing was the same that I was feeling right at Isleworth last year.  That's where I wanted to get to. It's a great feeling to have because it holds up under pressure.  I don't have to worry about my down swing at impact. It felt good. We both thought we'd have a great week. We both thought we'd have a chance to win this week. As all we really needed was a chance today.  What a struggle at the end there just to find the green after 15, missed that putt. I played the holes fine, just picked the wrong lines maybe and boy, those putts to close up and downs, the one on 17 and 18, I mean looking back, those are maybe 1 in 5 up and down for me. It just happened to be my day, you know, just got really good breaks right at the end having those land the right way and the putts to fall. Obviously the one in the playoff isn't one you expect, either.

DOUG MILNE:  All right. With that, we'll take questions.

Q.  Just talk about from the 6th hole on, seemed like a grind all way through the end.  Talk about that whole time.
5 and 6 I think I played to my strengths.  I think they're holes that are not too hard for me. This wind from Thursday until now has flipped around 90 degrees and so made it a little trickier on 6 -- 5, just hit a 3-wood in the fairway and 4-iron down there, you have a wedge. I wanted to make that one harder. Yeah, after that it was a grind. Had a couple good looks at birdie there on 10 and 11 and didn't make those, didn't hit great putts and then that save on 12 is huge. That was a really tough up and down and then got one to go on 13 and all I needed was to see one go in, I could start seeing the line. The hole looked a little bit bigger.

So, the biggest key for me in the last few holes is greens in regulation.  If I'm finding the green I'm going to make par as worse. A big strength of mine is making putts from outside of 15 feet. It's always been for whatever reason. I'm probably better from about 20 feet than I am from 6. So, just hitting the green.  Should be that easy.  I just couldn't find it on the last few holes. But, yeah, I mean when Ryan was 3-up.  That two shot swing there on 13 just got that little extra get up for me to be able to close -- to be able to grind it out, I guess.

Q.  You were playing with Ryan so you're watching that all day and he was in contention.  But I'm sure in the back of your mind you probably knew Patrick was going to be there at the end of the day, too.
Yeah, I knew -- lot of great players right behind us.  I didn't look at a scoreboard until maybe like 16, tried not to and I just didn't.  Didn't really want to. But I heard some roars ahead on 16.  Once I get up there kind of needed to look to see if I needed to get birdie or if I need to play safer and I saw that there's like a four-way tie. I knew Patrick would have a good round and Henrik was going the play well.  Sean is playing well, too. It wasn't until about 16 I saw that and just needed to par in. I wanted to obviously give myself two looks on 17 and 18 but that wasn't the case.  So, deal with what we got.

Q.  Where do you rank the toughest par saves on 16, 17, 18, the degree of difficulty on that one?
With 16, 16 I guess yeah, tough with my foot out of the bunker.  I don't see that as tough as 17 and 18. 17 we couldn't see the golf ball in the ground just looked down.  We were walking up, Mike, please be a good lie or not on a down slope.  Just buried on the down slope.  Geez. I would rank those definitely in the Top-5 I've ever had given the lies and the scenario and the green to work with. 18 was sitting, that grain is going right into you, got a clump behind it.  I just have to -- it's a guess on 18 there to hit it the right distance. The one thing that was in my head from Michael: give us a putt, give us a chance.  That's what allowed me to not be too aggressive on that, hit it a little past the hole and the putt dropped.

Q.  If you look at your wins, a bunker shot at Deere, a 63 in Australia, today's, when you do win comfortably, you win by 10?  Can you answer what it would be like to have a one shot lead and win by two? Is there such a thing as a boring win?
Doug, I tried to have a 2 shot lead going down 18.  It didn't work out that way. When I was on 13 I was just -- so much goes through your head and just try to block it out and focus, I really like it if I could be in a playoff.  That was like walking to 13.  I was three down. All right. If we can get two birdies there's a chance Ryan might drop a shot and we can get in a playoff that way. That's what ended up happening and Ryan was in control the whole day. Had a couple really bad breaks at the end that took him out of it but great playing from the guys ahead of us. What an exciting playoff.

Q.  How do you put a miss like you had on 11 out of your mind?
Yeah. Like I said, I'm more comfortable having something where I can really stroke it than some of those shorter ones that are tricky reads. Almost on a knob. I wasn't sure exactly what it was going to do. Just wasn't aggressive enough with it. I looked at the hole on it. I don't ever do that if the putt breaks and for whatever reason I did it on that one so that was just -- I wasn't comfortable with that putt for whatever reason and so we went to 13, I just had one that I just had to feed outside the right edge and drift to the left. It was a better looking putt because it wasn't as much going into it. It wasn't as tricky of a read. I put 10 and 11 on tougher reads. I just had the strokes.

Q.  It's early but where do you put the par on 7?
We got a lot of good breaks today, I guess. Par on 7, not quite where the ones at the end of the round were. The three bogies in a row there would have really hurt. Putt on the fringe, you know, it was a really straight putt but you never know how it's going to come off the fringe. That was really big. That one we were walking off the green kind of saying all right, let's get our head straight here, we can hit a couple of greens and, you know, who knows what can happen if we start seeing the ball go in the hole. The hole started to look a little bigger that time.

Q.  Then when you see Patrick make par on 18 and 16 in the playoff, is there any part of you that tries not to think this is for him today?
Yeah. That putt on 18 I'm sitting there saying you need to make this, this isn't -- obviously watching the speed but you can't give any kind of life to -- you just never know what's going to happen. When he got that one up and down and we were going to 17, you know, certainly, I certainly didn't like that. I didn't like him still in the playoff. He was plugged up in the lip and we're counting him out. You can't count him out. He's just a competitor. He's fiery. Finds a way to get it done. Then the one on 16 after it landed, holy crap, he just made that. That was a really hard shot to get the perfect speed on because it goes up and down. It's subtle but the grain does it. Yeah, I didn't see a shot on 17.  I had to use the "Geller", what I call it.  He just put himself in a tough spot there in the middle of the bunker.

Q.  I was thinking more on 16.
After these two saves, you know, I thought if he gets a putt he's going to make it. Just tends -- you get the mid range putt when it matters, he also makes them. Didn't want to give him any life.

Q.  Were you aware that he had also made a 30-footer on 18 in regulation?
We heard a roar.

Q.  That was him roaring.
Was it? I heard a roar on 18. I think we were on 16 tee maybe or something and figured that -- I still didn't think that he had gotten to 10. I thought maybe he had gotten to 9 or it was Kuchar that made it or something. No. But I heard about it after the round. I heard that he had made a good putt to get in, no surprise and then, you know, I think I'm fortunate that his second shot in that first playoff hole hit the edge there. If it had carried another few feet he would have had a 12-footer to win or we both would have had a 12-footer.

Q.  You're 21 years old, second Tour victory makes you one of four guys to have done it that quick.  From your perspective, how big a deal is being part of that history?
Yeah, it's great.  It's fantastic to look back on that and see.  I'm aware -- I think it's Tiger and Sergio. I don't know who else.

Q.  Robert Gamez
Okay. I like studying the game, historian of the game. It's really cool to have my name, you know, go along side those. But right now currently and what I'm really focused on is Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 in the world. That's who everyone is trying to chase. That's our ultimate goal is to eventually, you know, be the best in the world and this is a great, great stepping stone. I don't know, maybe move to 7 or 6 or something, but going into the four Majors of the year to have closed one out in this kind of fashion is going to give me a lot of confidence.

Q.  Is it a redemption from Greensboro?
When I was walking up to the tee box, Patrick, here we go again. It's pretty rare you have within a couple years two guys in the same playoff with each other. I don't think it really hurt me. Yeah, maybe a little bit of revenge there. Certainly didn't feel like it the way he was playing that playoff.

Q.  Since the sponsor makes paint, when was the last time you painted something?
Grade school (laughter).

Q.  Paint a fence or anything, paint your room?
No, not probably since grade school.

Q.  Sean O'Hair was sort of laughing because he was sort of the old man of the group.  What do you think of when you think of somebody that age, that advanced age of 32?
Sean -- since I've been out here, everyone encounter I've had with him there's few guys with better reputation, nicer guys.  He was incredible in the playoff. I almost stepped in his line on 16 accidentally when he had that putt.  Wasn't -- you know, he's like, "You young kids.  You guys just don't have any respect." He was laughing when he was saying it but I was like yeah, you know, I told the rookies all the time they don't know what's going on (laughter).  Great sense of humor.  Obviously when we're in that position it doesn't matter how old you are, who you are, anything can happen in golf, anyone can step up to the plate and deliver and certainly we thought that Sean would make it on 16 just as I'm sure they thought I would make it on 18.  Just have to prepare yourself for it. He had an unfortunate lip-out there and I got the lucky break on 17.

Q.  What did you show today?  What did you prove to yourself?
Putting down the stretch. That's something that in those wins at the end of last year, Australia, I putted incredibly well on Sunday just the whole day and proved that to myself that I could do that because when I was in contention prior I struggled with those five, six footers or even four footers that I needed or just to make even a 15, 18 footer, just have something go in from a decent range on the back-9 Sunday.

At Tiger's event, I had a big enough lead. I was very comfortable but when you have that -- when you're tense and pressure is on, I really needed to make some putts that -- especially after 10 and 11, that would kind of ooze that confidence back into me that I can do this, you know.  Your hand, you're shaking.  Your stroke doesn't feel as comfortable as it does on Thursday morning and it's about controlling that, seeing the line and still hitting it and the last few holes proved that to me and hit my line in the first playoff hole as well.  I played too much break. Then that putt on 16 to -- there's a putt where I looked back and said you want to get the right speed because Patrick got 8-footer and Sean has got a 3-footer, but it's not easy. Those are the kind of putts like where you can kind of go up to the pinnacle of the break and then kind of see that next little bit. They're putts where they're very feel-based and they're ones that I like hitting and that one, you know, I guess I hit it a little too hard but it was one where it was going to snap and then straighten out at the end. I've seen those go in before. I just tried to visualize those putts I've made just like that.

Q.  How far do you think your short game can take you?
That's something that's really shined this year. I've been chipping it well since coming out on Tour but it was capitalizing on those shorter putts like I'm saying that I'm getting better and better at, grinding over those four, 5-footers and knocking them in the back. Those putting stats have improved significantly. That's why my short game is better. I think that if I continue to make those and obviously practice all the shots that I have, then it's only going to bring confidence in the rest of my game. 
Today those were not great swings. I'd like to have those over again at the end of regulation but that short game, I have enough confidence in if I fire at some pins I knew I could make par. That's awesome.

Q.  Jordan, both of your wins on Tour, your official wins they're both playoffs.  Do you have a different gear that you go into when you get to a playoff?
Not necessarily. I tried to smile today, tried to embrace it, embrace the fact that I was in it because with the finish, I was like I'm just happy to be here right now. Try -- the easiest thing to do is get your mind around what the other people are doing, and having been in two before, I certainly can draw back on what happened mentally and how do I improve and not think about what other people are doing because you can't count Patrick out. Goes to make par. It's not match play. You're playing that hole and trying to find a way to make a birdie on that hole. We stayed down and focused and had a good number and had three really good chances to make birdie and the last one went in, probably the least expected.

Q.  Innisbrook in general and the 17th hole in particular, what was it like winning the tournament on the same hole?
I guess that's a nice Hollywood ending for it for the three years I played here.  17 two years ago holed a flop shot from the -- going at the hole but short, about 20 yards short in the rough, holed a flop shot when I needed to finish 8th, four ways to get my card and I was in 13th or something and if I birdie I go to 7th and I hit a flop shot. It was the Hooters hole at the time.  The Hooters hole has moved now which probably is a decent idea, it would have more fun in the playoff (laughter) but the place just erupted when it fell and then I just had to par 18 to get my card and then, you know, today to have that putt go in. Just I guess the ball just magnetic on that hole.  It's my favorite hole maybe I've ever played.

DOUG MILNE:  All right. Jordan, congratulations.  Thanks for your time.

JORDAN SPIETH:  Thank you.