Following an eve-par 70 during the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, Jordan Spieth met with the media to discuss his day and look forward to the weekend.
Q. Second round 70. You’ve had a lot of really good putting rounds over the last two days, a football field of putts, 300 feet of putts. What does it feel like?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean, it feels kind of on par with where I like to be with it. Long range I’m getting my speed control back, so certainly a bonus when they drop.
Point is I’m hitting with the right speed, and then I’ve been really solid inside 15 feet. It feels good. I’d really like to hit the ball a bit better, hit some more greens so that I have birdie instead of par.
But to see some of these long ones go in, you know, and kind of look like they’re going in with 10 feet to go, that’s really cool. It’s been a couple years in the works.
Just back to where it was kind of ignorance is bliss before. I really didn’t know why I was kind of on with it, and now I do. Hopefully I can’t stray very far off form it anymore.
Q. You talked yesterday about your growing confidence in your game. What is your confidence level right now?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean, tee-to-green I feel like I’m kind of on par with last week, maybe a little bit better, but still nowhere near where I would like it to be.
I’m working in the right direction. It’s very difficult sometimes out here when you have to hit it into such small locations with the 20-mile-an-hour crosswinds. It’s just tough.
So I would like to hit some more fairways though. The guys that are leading I’m sure have been in double the amount of fairways I have. It’s just tough to play this golf course out of the rough, and certainly to have a chance to win on Sunday need to do a better job off the tee.
Q. Just get some comments on your play today?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it was a grind. I would like to think — I hope, I hope — and it felt like today was kind of the off day in a four rounds. I just — you know, towards the end of yesterday’s rounds kind of lost a little bit of the feel in my swing that I had Tuesday, Wednesday, beginning of Thursday, and I didn’t really find it today.
And then I hit a few shots that were really good shots ended up a foot into the rough where I had a weird stance or whatever it may be. Kind of a couple tough breaks off the tee that maybe make me think it was further off than it was.
But fairways are just so important out here. Greens in regulation when I’m putting the way I’m putting, that’s the most important step for me to focus on and what’s going to be the focus this weekend.
Q. How much does that change with the wind when it’s swirling like this?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I was asking Michael what he thought. Maybe midway through the round today I was like, Is it playing harder than yesterday? Is the wind blowing more? He’s like, I don’t really think it’s blowing more. It’s just gusting a little bit more.
But I had five bogeys today; four of them came on either par-3s or out of the fairway with a wedge in my hand, which is very unusual for me when I’m striking the ball well. I just don’t make mistakes from the good spots, so that’s frustrating for sure.
But a lot of that had to do with the wind. I mean, on every single one of those shots I actually hit in on the line I wanted to hit it. They just ended up anywhere from 15 to 20 yards off in the distance.
Tomorrow we get a south wind. It makes these crosswind holes play a little more into or down. I think that’s going to help us as a team try and nail that distance in better.
Q. You’ve had some extraordinary putting days in your career. How would you sum up these two days in terms of focus or scope of your career?
JORDAN SPIETH: I thought today was average; I thought yesterday was spectacular. Yesterday was one of those where just get it on the green and the ball is going in. Just in to the zone totally.
Today I missed maybe an 8-footer and a couple 5-footers, but then I made a couple long ones to make up for it. They were kind of misreads. They weren’t bad strokes. That’s the difference.
That’s the difference in where I am at now versus where I’ve been the last year and a half, couple years. When I miss those putts I hit them exactly where I wanted to. That’s a great feeling. I feel like I have stroke feel to start the ball online where I want to, and that’s going to serve me well as long as I continue to have that same feel and it works for me.
Q. When you look at 300 feet in putts made in the first two rounds, it’s like jeez. Do you look at it the same way?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean, I had three bombs and one kind of mid-ranger. So, yeah, I mean, maybe in a week you look at maybe making one of those putts over 30 feet if you get enough of them.
On these greens I would say they can yield longer putts going in. Just not as much going on on the greens. I may have 40 feet, but it might be left edge. So if I start it somewhere around that left edge with somewhere around the right speed it’s going to scare the hole.
With the kind of speed control and stroke feel I’ve had, I feel like it’s going to start around where I’m looking and be around the right speed. With less going on on the greens and the speeds being down a little bit where you can really pop them, I don’t think it’s totally unusual, but certainly a good couple days putting that saved me and has given me a chance this weekend.
Q. What’s your strategy heading into the weekend? Different?
JORDAN SPIETH: Greens in regulation. No. 1 priority. If I can hit double the greens that I hit these two rounds I feel like I’ve a great chance when it comes down to the last few holes Sunday. I mean, it’s that simple. I think I hit nine maybe this round. To play Colonial and be on nine greens, it’s tough around the greens here.
I did a great job chipping to get myself inside of five feet most of the time. You just can’t rely on that. Got to get the ball on the putting surface.