Jordan Spieth’s post-Masters hangover lasted about 12 hours.
After a self-described “off day” in the opening round of the RBC Heritage, Spieth bettered his score by 12 shots, carding a 9-under 62 in the second round to move into contention. The score was one off the Harbour Town course record set by David Frost in 1994 and left him two shots behind playing partner Matt Kuchar after two rounds.
The key to Spieth's turnaround? An early-morning session on the driving range.
"I found something in my ball position on the range, and it made a world of difference," Spieth said. "One more night's sleep, and just feeling like I had a little something that I could think about on the course. It helped my to zero in on the targets a little bit better and get into a rhythm."
Spieth appeared in danger of a rare missed cut after a 3-over 74 in the first round, but he remained optimistic and even channeled fellow Longhorn Ben Crenshaw with his post-round comments.
“I think tomorrow, I’ve got a good feeling about tomorrow,” Spieth said Thursday. “Feel like I got some swings in, got in somewhat of a rhythm, and can at least go out there and feel the shots.”
That feeling proved prophetic, as Spieth started his round with a birdie on No. 10 and never looked back. After struggling on the greens in the opening round, he made three birdie putts of 12 feet or longer in his first eight holes, making the turn in 4-under 31. He added three more circles before chipping in for birdie on No. 8, then capped his round by stuffing his approach to 4 feet on the short par-4 ninth to set up his ninth birdie of the day.
A 62 tied Spieth's lowest score ever as a professional, a bar that he first set in the final round of the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship.
"I told (caddie) Michael (Greller) when the day started, 'Let's try to get three (birdies) a side, let's try to shoot six (under) today,'" Spieth said. "Once we got a couple extra to go, it was just off and running and don't worry about your score, just keep trying to make birdies."
Spieth hit just eight of 18 greens in regulation during the first round, but his approaches improved significantly in Round 2, where he found 14 of 18 greens, including on 11 of his first 12 holes. At 6 under, he is in the mix for what would be his third win in his last five starts and is again contending at an event where he finished T-9 in 2013 and T-12 last year.
Spieth moved to No. 2 in the world with his win at Augusta National. While he can't overtake Rory McIlroy this week, a high finish could put him in position to claim the No. 1 spot at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship in two weeks.