Jordan Spieth already has the 2016 Charles Schwab Challenge on docket and after an opening round 65, he is setting himself up to be in place to add to his impressive resume.
Spieth spoke with the media following his stellar first round:
Q. Great putting round for you. More than 150 feet of putts in the opening round. Tell me about it.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I made a long one on 4 and a made a mid-ranger to long one on 17, so those will add up to close to 90 feet on their own.
All in all, I’ve been feeling really good with the flat stick. I saved a couple pars early and that was really big for my round because I was a little kind of off the first four holes.
To play those 1-under when it felt like I should be a couple over allowed me to settle in and get some momentum.
Q. Talk to me about the wind. I think it’s blowing hard; maybe a little swirly.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, the good news about playing in Texas is you normally don’t have to figure out where it’s coming from. You do have to deal with it blowing pretty hard. It’s up there. On certain holes it affects it more than others when it gets below or above the trees. It’s not bouncing back and forth. It’s a steady south, southeast wind.
The only tough part is when you get kind of a crosswind to try to figure out if it helps or hurting.
Q. Good way to carry the momentum from last week?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Q. Tricky conditions. How pleased are you with that score?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I would’ve signed for it before the day started. A few under when the wind blows out here is a really nice score. It’s tough to hit fairways and hold the fairways. Certainly pleased.
I’m really happy with the way I bounced back when I made mistakes today. I made a couple mistakes early in the round and chipped in and made another birdie on 15; but then after I tugged a wedge in the water on 18, went ahead and birdied the next two holes.
I didn’t feel like I was trying to grab for too many out there today. Felt like I let the golf course come to me. Sitting at 5-under after round one, very pleased.
Q. When you look back to the momentum you gained last week, how important was it to get off to a good start this week on a course you’ve had so much success on?
JORDAN SPIETH: I didn’t put it above or below any other week. I know my game has been progressing. I’ve been saying that for the last month or six weeks or so. Results just end up coming when I actually start playing better golf. Simply put, that’s just what I’ve been doing. Been a little bit better off the tee and into the greens and I’ve been a lot better on and around the greens.
Ultimately I just stay the course and not stress too much about results and let them come to me.
Q. Vintage Jordan Spieth. Take us inside the mind of yourself in that zone?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, a lot of it is just — I feel like I put a lot of good reads on them out here. I made a couple early so the hole starts to look a little bit bigger. You start to fully trust your reads when you get a couple tricky reads and guess right early.
So from there it’s just about tempo of the stroke, just having the weight of the putter blade be with me and finding the right speed control on those long putts.
I happened to make a couple of them, which is certainly a bonus, but also had quite a few good lag putts for tap-ins too that keeps you stress-free in the windy conditions.
Q. First round 65. How would you compare today’s round to your solid play last week?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I felt pretty similar to — I feel like I progressed last week day to day, and I felt like today was even a progression off Sunday last week. It was pretty similar to that final round where I just kind of held in there.
Certainly could use hitting a few more fairways and a few more greens around Colonial the rest of the week, but the putter blade is sharp and I was able to save my pars and capitalize on a couple long ones.
Q. You talked about how much work you put in over the last five months. How rewarding is this for you?
JORDAN SPIETH: It’s one round, but all in all just playing kind of stress-free and being able to see my lines and get through the ball nicely on and around the greens was the goal. I was just trying to save it a lot of the times.
So score-wise it’s not necessary for me to feel good. It’s more just I knew that once I started to get the club back out in front of me that the golf would start to be fun again, and it certainly is.
More work to be done tee to green. On and around the green is just maintenance.
Q. When you come back to a course where you’ve had so much success, does it almost free you up a little bit?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean, I think the course fits me well. It seems to have fit me well whether I’ve had form coming in or not. I know which spots to play to. I don’t try and do too much. I’ve putted the greens well historically, so it is nice. I love coming back here.
But it wasn’t like a necessary thing for me at any point in time. Just progress was being made and I just need to stay the course.
Q. Feeling like you had momentum coming in, does a run like this almost you expect something like this today after I way you came in, the way you were hot?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, it’s never expected. It doesn’t matter what form you’re in, it’s never expected. It’s just not that easy. This was a tough golf course today, and I felt like early in the round the par saves and the chip-in were huge momentum builders for me to kind of settle into the round. To be under par through four holes with where I hit it was really solid.
Then I started hitting some really nice shots, hit some nice golf shots. Putter was great. Made those par saves early and they started going in for birdie too.
Q. Feel like even when you missed drives to the left you kept it out of big trouble and you were able to rescue it fairly easy?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean, I have no idea if I missed drives left or ride. Point was that on this golf course there is always one place you can still play from, and I missed it in that place today. So no matter where the miss was, I was in the right location other than my tug wedge on 18.
But especially off the tee my misses were in the right spots where the hole would open up and I would be able to do something with it.
Q. (Regarding the shot on 18.)
JORDAN SPIETH: No. I just tried to do too much. I tried to force a low hook instead of hitting a stock shot to 15 feet. Considering I was 50 percent from 15 feet, I may as well just keep giving myself 15 feet.
If it’s any other pin I probably birdie the hole, and I just tried to get cute with that one.
Q. Does this course just suit your eye pretty well? Seems like you always play fairly well here.
JORDAN SPIETH: Yes and no. With what I’ve needed to do improve on this year, which is my tee game, this isn’t a great course if you’re off off the tee. I’ve played the golf course well. I think it’s a fantastic golf course, one the best ones in the United States in my opinion.
Just forces you to hit every shot off the tee. It doesn’t favor a bomber or a short hitter. You have to golf your ball really nicely around it and miss in the right places and know how to play out of the Bermuda.
I grew up on this stuff, so I think that’s my advantage there, is playing out of the rough into and around the greens.
Q. (Regarding vindication for his play today.)
JORDAN SPIETH: I don’t need vindication. I mean, nothing really — it doesn’t really bother me at this point. I know what I needed to work on and I knew it was going to take a bit of time, and so it’s nice personally to see the results off of how I know I’ve been progressing.
All in all, it’s one round today. Still got to keep my head down and try and do this another three times.
Q. You talked about progress. How would you describe the last five rounds, last couple weeks? (Indiscernible.)
JORDAN SPIETH: Probably the same as the previous four or five weeks before. I would say day-to-day just gotten — since I’ve been really working on the right things and have the right moves for it, whether it’s the full swing or the putting, it’s just once you’re doing the right thing repetition gets it closer and closer and gets you more precise.
I still had some scar tissue on shots today where I’ve had some foul balls to the right this year where that’s been my miss when it’s been behind me, and I played away from that shot because of the potential of what’s been there this year.
So say last week I probably trusted it 75 percent; probably trusted it 90 percent today. Just trying to continue to, when you trust it, pull off the shot. You know the feel and you know that that old ball is kind of out the window.