2015 U.S. Open Championship: Round 3

2015 U.S. Open Championship

Jordan's Comments After the Third Round at the 2015 U.S. Open

BETH MAJOR: Good evening, welcome to the 2015 U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay. Very pleased to welcome Jordan Spieth with us this evening. Shot a 1 over 71 and currently stands 4-under for the championship in a four-way tie for first. Can you talk about the conditions and your play out there today.

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, there wasn't a whole lot of wind, but it shifted throughout the day. It was kind of tricky to get it sometimes. It was, as far as conditions go, as scorable as we could see from the weather. But definitely firmed up and the greens got significantly faster today from yesterday morning. I played in the morning yesterday and Dustin said that they were faster, in the afternoon, anyway. So I'm not sure how much it played afternoon to afternoon. But it was a significant change for us. But I like that, I like that they're a little quicker. I didn't have my best stuff today but still tied for the lead, and I've had my best stuff at times this week, and I'm pretty sure I know where it is and how to get it tomorrow and get ready to go. I started to really strike the ball well right at the end of the round today and I can take a lot of momentum from that.

BETH MAJOR: And obviously the position you want to be in heading into Sunday.

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, definitely. I certainly want to be towards the top of the leaderboard. To be at 7-under at one point today and to finish at 4 is a little disappointing when you look at it that way, but I also finished 1-under on the last four and it really could have been 4-under. I hit a few good putts that didn't go in. So, yeah, I'm just going to take the positives off the end of the round and very pleased with the position I'm in.

Q. Great round today, Jordan. Assuming you win tomorrow, I'm curious to know which Major Championship is going to mean more to you, the U.S. Open or your Masters win?
I'm not sure. I think that if that were to be the case, then I'll be able to tell you a little bit more about it tomorrow. It's hard to think ahead like that.

Q. Obviously tied for the lead, but not in the final 2 ball. Any disadvantage to that as you see it?
I don't think so. I think it will be somewhat advantageous. I think those two guys, as two standout stars of the game that are still searching for their first major trying to battle with each other, I think I could somewhat sneak under the radar being in the group in front. I don't think it's a bad thing at all. I don't wish I was in the last group. I think that since we're all tied, we all have a chance to control our own destiny. It's who plays better tomorrow.

Q. After three days can you give your impression of how the course has been set up and a little bit more detail about how the greens are putting?
Yeah, I think it's been set up to bring the scores just about where they are. I don't think 10-under was possible through three rounds and I still think there were enough gettable holes to where we could be under par. The greens aren't what we normally see. They don't putt like we normally see. But someone's got to hold the trophy tomorrow and we've got a group of guys that are under par that all -- or even at par, that have a chance to do so. I think that there are a couple of holes, 11 today, at the first half of the day when the wind is straight off to the left is fine, that's the way we play it. To that pin it's still -- I don't know how many birdies there were on that hole today, but I can't imagine there were more than three or four. When the wind flipped back into us to that pin I didn't think that was -- it was a par 5 for us. Again, I took some heat for saying par 4 versus 5, I understand you just add them all up at the end, but when you're standing on the tee and your score is going to drop from the lead to one back or whatever, that's frustrating, when you feel like a 4 is the score you need to shoot for, when 5 in reality is the score. 11 today with that wind and that pin from the back tee box didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. But everyone had to do it. And I should have made par or birdie.

Q. I know you don't want to jump ahead, but to be in this position at your age, we often talk about your age, but you've won the Masters, you're tied for the lead at the U.S. Open after three rounds, what does it mean to you to be in this position right now?
It just means that I've got to go out and fight tomorrow to win another major. Our team put an emphasis on major championships this year just to be in this position. And we have succeeded on the first, and we're going to work as hard as we can as an entire team to be as ready as we can for tomorrow. I don't think of age having anything to do with it. I think we're all peers tomorrow, and there's four of us tied for a lead. There's a lot of guys that can play a good, solid round from tomorrow and shoot two or three under and come from behind. I think we're going to have to shoot a good round tomorrow and that's all we're focused on.

Q. You have the chance to be the first person in over a decade to get the first two legs of the Grand Slam. How much, if at all, will that contribute to your excitement, nerves, tomorrow, before you tee off?
None, other than I feel like we have a winning formula to close the deal in a major championship, whether that was the most recent major or it was 20 years ago, we've still done it as a team. We know the formula and that's the only impact it's going to have as far as consecutive ones, that's just something I think to be proud of after the fact, if I can get the job done tomorrow. But that's going to have no bearing when I tee it up. It's just going to be how can I tackle Chambers Bay.

Q. Similarly, how will tonight be different compared to going into the final round, aside from having a big lead at Augusta?
I think I'll be a little bit less anxious. I feel a little more relaxed right now after finishing the round versus when I finished Saturday at Augusta. I was amped and already ready to start the next round. Right now I'll be a little bit more patient, I think, in not letting my mind wander and being focused on the next part of the routine to get ready for the round.

Q. The four three-putts looked like two were unforced errors out there. What was the difficulty there and then trying to put it behind you?
Yeah, that's tough. I've had eight for the week. And when I say that, there's probably four of them -- three or four have been off the green, so not technically -- or putting over the ridge from off the green. But in my mind, I'll count them if I didn't need to three-putt, if I felt like I had a good chance at 2-putting. 16 and 7 were unforced. Those were basic 2-putts. I'll two-putt the majority of the time. 4 I hit it right onto the part of the green, the worse spot on the course on the greens, where it feels like it's going to be fast, but you're putting off of kind of dirt to start the putt. So you think it's going to be fast. But I did the same thing, I had the same putt the first round, I left it 6 feet short, I did the same thing today. It just looks speedy and it's not. But I won't have that putt coming back down to the front of the green tomorrow. So I don't count that in my 60-yard putt, 40-yard putt on 12. I would like to have gotten closer, but that's so hard from there. I do need to improve, though, I need to have a little better speed control. I made a lot of second putts from the ranges of 2 to 8 feet this week, and even a couple beyond that. And if I can lower that number to a good 3-foot circle it's going to make a huge difference.

Q. It sounds like 18 will be a par-4 tomorrow. What's your feeling about the Open possibly coming down to that hole with that configuration, and what's your strategy different than Friday?
We'll just have to check where the wind is. There's an option to maybe play it down No. 1 and have a good angle in. I'll have to check on the wind and where the pin is. And how firm the fairways are playing. And if they're playing firm enough to where I can't fly the left lip of that bunker, and if I hit it over the right center of it it goes into the dead bunker, I'm giving 5 yards to hit it, then I'll play it down 1 given there's a wider area to hit it, even though it adds 20 yards to the hole. It's all going to be based on the position I'm in. I hope to be able to hit a 6-iron off that tee, but that would mean things would have to go very well before that. There's a good chance it comes down to that hole. Just going to have to manage the shots.

Q. You mentioned that you feel more relaxed now than you did Saturday evening at Augusta. What do you think the reason for that is and why are you more relaxed right now?
Well, that particular Saturday I had it really going and I made double and I was staring bogey or double in the face again and got that flop shot up and down on 18. So I was just amped off of just let's get this round done. I didn't hit good shots at the close of that round and didn't feel very good about it. I hit some really solid shots at the end of the round today, pretty much placed each shot on the last four holes perfectly other than my tee shot on 18. So I'm more relaxed because I felt a little comfortable about the finish of the round. I think also just each time you're in contention, no matter what tournament it is or where it is, the more you get in contention the more relaxed you feel sleeping on a lead or even waiting on a lead. And so maybe that just adds to it, but I'm just speaking for right now. I may feel the same as I did then tomorrow morning, but right now just given the finish to the rounds I think is why I'm more relaxed.

Q. You talked about controlling your emotions. Walking the course with you, it was hard to tell. On No. 8 were you upset about what seemed to be a good drive there?
Yeah, I was appalled, was the word I used (laughter). I couldn't place the drive any better. Patrick hit one out to the right so he missed his spot by five to ten yards. And he holds up in the fairway. And I couldn't have landed it in a better location. I couldn't have hit a better tee shot. I thought my ball was in the middle of the fairway and when I saw it on the right edge, I said, Mike, I don't know how it got over the right edge. And then we walked up and it was Patrick's. And then he was hitting in the rough and there was a clump of grass behind it. This is a joke. Right after a three-putt. So that didn't add to my excitement (laughter). But, yeah, I'm not sure where to hit it on 8 tomorrow. I'm just going to try to play the same shot and hope that it stays in the fairway. That's what struck me. I was very frustrated at the time because if it's in the fairway I've got a 3-iron into that green and the majority of the time that would lead to a birdie with a funnel into the hole. And instead I ended up in a pretty good position to make birdie anyways. But that second shot I hit was really a good shot with that 3-iron with that lie to get it up near the green and be able to feed it in.

Q. You were with Jason when he collapsed yesterday. Were you aware that when he reached minus 4. Do you notice that on the board and what do you think of that? And secondly, do you think that tomorrow becomes an endurance contest, and with the way that you've been kind of sometimes running between tees and things like that, that you have an advantage?
I didn't notice Jason's score until 18. I didn't do much scoreboard watching at all. So I just saw it up there. So I shot 2-under. I wasn't surprised. I played with him the first two rounds. He's certainly capable of shooting as good a score as anybody can shoot on this golf course. I would say he and DJ have the biggest advantage, and here they are tied for the lead, given their length and ability to hit it up in the air. I think they both have great putting strokes. But it is somewhat of a bomber's golf course. So I wasn't surprised to see that. I'm really glad that he's healthy. We weren't sure at the time. And he didn't say much to us because he was just trying to kind of get his cool. I don't think tied for the lead in a major championship Sunday, there's going to be enough adrenaline, I don't see it much of an endurance test, I think we're all going to have plenty of juice to get it through. I'll probably not run as much as I have been. I didn't even notice that I have been. I'll save as much energy as I can, and try and eat stuff on the course and drink some energy drinks and whatnot to get through. But we'll all be amped.

BETH MAJOR: We'll look forward to watching. Thanks so much for joining us.