Tampa Bay Championship interview: Jordan SpiethMarch 17, 2013
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Q. You told me at the beginning of the day you hope to get off to a quick start, just didn't seem like you could get it going especially with the putter today?
JORDAN SPIETH: Actually got off to a great start, was 3 under through eight, makes some putts, tried to play conservative from there. I thought I had to get to 8, so I thought I just needed one more and so I was just trying to play smart, and two par 5s on the back nine. I pulled a putt on 9 and then other than that, a couple par putts that I thought I hit, good putts, I just miss read a little bit, but that's just how it works.
I was really happy to finish strong and I needed that putt on 18 for a TOUR card, so it's a good feeling.
Q. How much were you aware that that putt was to get enough money to have unlimited sponsor exemptions?
JORDAN SPIETH: I looked on the board, I guess I was on the par 5, 14, and saw I was in 14th and I knew that wasn't two ways, too. I knew I needed to get a birdie coming in.
Fortunately 17, didn't expect it there, but that was a pretty cool experience.
And then 18, I looked at the board. I saw that I was T7 with a bunch of people so I knew I had to make it. And you know, so I was nervous over that putt and just took it back smooth and found the hole.
Q. How do you describe what's happened to you over the last eight days and the experiences that you can draw on in the future?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, shoot, it's unbelievable. Coming from Bogotá, Colombia, I thought I was going to be playing the Web.com and now it looks like I'll be using some starts on the PGA TOUR this year. To go four weeks, four different countries and play well, it's a big confidence boost. I'm really excited for Houston and San Antonio coming up.
Q. Potentially a big day for you today, can you talk about that?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I felt comfortable, birdied 7 and 8 to get to 7 under, the lead was 8. I still wasn't nervous. Didn't affect any of my shots. The only time I felt nervous today were the last few holes, just trying to make sure I get a birdie.
So I felt confident, just made a couple bad swings that cost me a couple strokes and possibly making a run at the win.
Q. Well, that takes care of the win. Now what about your PGA TOUR card?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, that was on my mind. It wasn't about getting the card; it was about trying to win the golf tournament, and that would take care of itself.
So, you know, I was out there and once I made a few bogeys, then I looked at the board, because I needed to know. Saw that I was out of it. Probably would have been out by just a few thousand dollars, and needed a birdie coming in. What a great feeling to have it come on 17 in front of that crowd with a flop shot out of the rough.
So very happy. Hit a great tee shot, great wedge into 18. Had the wind shift on me. I couldn't believe that it went short. But got the job done with the putt.
Q. A few weeks ago, you were just Web.com'ing it, and now you're hoping to ...
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, four weeks ago, fortunate to get an exemption, great guys that run the tournament down in Panama. Fortunate to get an exemption to start playing somewhere, and no status anywhere. Now it's a great feeling to know that I'm at least a temporary member of the TOUR right now.
Q. Would you call it excitement? Would you call it satisfaction? How would you describe it?
JORDAN SPIETH: Right now it's excitement. I'm just extremely happy. You know, obviously didn't think this would happen.
When you go, at the beginning of the year, when you know that you only get seven unrestricted exemptions; first of all it's hard to get seven tournaments in, let alone make enough money to get your card in; to be able to do it and really three events, I missed the cut at Torrey, played well at Pebble, last week and here, so I never would have guessed that I would get it this quickly.
You know, I feel great. I feel in control and I know what it's like to be in contention in a TOUR event and I was more comfortable this week. I just want to get back and get a win now.
Q. Two weeks ago, you had to sit down, spend a little time trying to plot out what your immediate schedule is, and now you've got a bigger schedule to sit down and plot out.
JORDAN SPIETH: Now it's nice to actually have a schedule to plot out and actually know where I'm going to be going a couple weeks in advance.
It's great. Very, very fortunate, very lucky to have made the right decision down there in Bogotá, and you know, it's just a great feeling.
Q. I think before you sank the flop shot, you were actually 195 dollars short.
JORDAN SPIETH: That would have been brutal. That would have hurt. I just would have had to make a cut at either Houston or San Antonio. But you know, it's nice to get the crowd excited on 17 there. That was one of the coolest shots I've ever hit. That was as loud as it gets, hair on the back of your neck stands up.
But yeah, that would have been if I was $200 short, I would have just asked if I could pay them $200. (Laughing).