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Speith Returns to Byron Nelson


As a high school junior Jordan Spieth made a remarkable imprint on last year's HP Byron Nelson. After becoming the sixth-youngest player in the history of the PGA Tour to make the weekend cut, the then 16-year-old was tied for third entering Sunday and finished in a tie for 16th.

Now a senior at Jesuit Prep in Dallas, the University of Texas recruit returns to the $6.5 million event at TPC Four Seasons in Irving, which tees off Thursday.

On Wednesday, the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur champion sat down with reporters and updated them on his past year and what his performance in the 2010 Byron Nelson did for his budding career. Here's a full transcript of his Q&A with the media.

MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Jordan Spieth into the media center at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Jordan, it's been a year since the ride you took us on all on last year. First of all talk about being back and then reflect on 2010.

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it's an honor to be back here, and I'm excited I got another invitation. My goal is the same as last year. I want to get out off to a good start and try and make a good run at it. Last year was unbelievable. It didn't sink in until afterwards, but, you know, it should be bigger crowds to start out this year, I've been told, so it should be fun.

MODERATOR: Talk about the state of your game heading into the week.

JORDAN SPIETH: I'm confident. I was finished with classes a couple of weeks ago, unlike last year where I had exams light after the Byron, so I've been able to get in practice time and get out here a little more often and get used to the golf course. Felt good, felt good the last two days on the practice rounds and this morning I worked with my instructor on the range and starting to come around, starting to click.

MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions.

Q. Jordan, I was told that you graduate this Saturday from Jesuit College, and what would this mean to you to finish on top and have a strong finish?

Q. Jordan, how much more prepared are you going into this tournament than last year?

JORDAN SPIETH: I think experience is really going to help, just having -- not necessarily this tournament specifically but having played in a PGA event before. Because honestly, when I went out last year a couple weeks after this event to the St. Jude, it made a load of difference. I was not -- I was nervous on the first tee, just like I am for any tournament but I was not feeling the nerves for the second hole, which out here it was every single hole that I played. But I think that will help, and obviously it wasn't the same not being in my hometown, but I think experience is really going to help me settle in a little earlier and not have to fight the nerves and the adrenaline and kinda be able to be relaxed out there. We'll see.

Q. Jordan, you've added some muscle. What predicated your workout routine? Was that going to happen anyway or was this a good time for you to do that?

JORDAN SPIETH: Actually the St. Jude that I played in, I strained -- I strained or sprained a muscle in my lower back last year in the middle of the summer, had to withdraw from the tournament and get work done on it. Honestly, it kinda scared me. I realized that I hadn't been doing any workout routines or stretching, and that could present serious problems. Number one priority was prevention, so I spent the whole end of the summer and beginning of the fall just kind of building a base and stuff. Then definitely -- it was something I was going to do anyway, just because I wanted to get ready for college and the college workouts and the amount of tireless stuff that you're doing in college. I wanted to be a little more prepared for that, so I took off traveling tournaments from October to February just to work really hard, and personally on my own time it's hard for me to motivate myself to go in and work out, but I was able to go into the gym and work with Damon Goddard here in Dallas and he's been unbelievable. And I put on 20 pounds starting with building a stable base and putting a little bit of weight on top, but mainly for injury prevention and consistency in the swing.

Q. How does the gallery affect you here? Does it give you energy? Are you able to shut it out?

JORDAN SPIETH: I definitely don't try and shut it out. I remember last year, just walking in between shots or in between holes you walk through the gaps and I'll see some of my friends on the side or just any other people just sayin' "good luck" or "you got 'em" or "go get 'em!" In some way I'm trying to be in a "zone" but at the same time I think that only feeds to the confidence level of my game. And when you hit a good shot you're happy with the shot, but when you got a thousand other people around the green, kind of feeling that does really help.

Q. You said you played the last couple of days. Talk about the course conditions then and how do you think things will change with the overnight storms? I realize you didn't get a full round in today but did you get a taste of how things may have changed?

JORDAN SPIETH: The course leading up to this event and everyone here has realized that it's the best shape I've ever seen it in, and I've been coming here playing with friends for four or five years now. I've never seen it in the shape that it's been in and obviously it got beat up just like everything got beat up yesterday. I heard that the grounds crew was out there on evergreen trying to fix the pitch marks because the hail was the size of golf balls and it was making the same pitch marks that a golf ball would. I was on the practice green earlier today working with my instructor, and somehow it was pure. They did an awesome job, and I think the sun will help dry it out a little bit, and once they cut 'em and roll 'em tomorrow I think it will be back to normal.

Q. Jordan, you're unique for a player of your generation in that you developed your short game first and now you're developing your power game, putting on weight and working out. Can you talk about your generation of player, how far they hit it and how that's what they want to do?

JORDAN SPIETH: I've -- growing up I have not been one of the longer hitters, so I guess I needed to put all the pressure on my short game and all the work in my short game to make up for that. You know, now I'm starting to catch up, I guess. Almost all the tournaments I play in everyone else is older, so they're definitely hitting it further, especially now that I'm moving into amateur events against 20, 21, 22 year old college kids that are just crushin' it. But the short game -- out here, although I still put a lot of stress on my short game, it's ridiculous how good these guys are so, I've got more work on the short game, let alone the long game to get ready for their level, but in a given week who knows what can happen.

Q. You said it didn't hit you until later, what you had done. Was it one particular moment when you were able to sit back and reflect and say "That was a cool week"?

JORDAN SPIETH: Not really. Just kinda gradually. I never really looked at -- I never watched anything from that week or looked at any media interviews or anything from that week, especially during the week, I didn't, and even after. I saw some certain things, you know, when people would play stuff back at their house or something, but, you know, I didn't want to -- especially during the week I don't want to get caught up in it, I want to realize -- I want to focus on, hey, you're in whatever place I was in, 7th going into the last round, these guys are four or five shots ahead of you, you got a lot of work to do -- six shots that I had to make up. So the big thing about this event and preparing for it is I didn't want to do anything out of the ordinary. I wanted to stay in my comfort zone the way I prepared for any other event.

MODERATOR: Jordan, thanks for coming by.

The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.