“I knew I needed to shoot at least 67 to have a chance,” he said.
Instead, he rolled to a 7-under 64 to enter the clubhouse just three back of the lead at the John Deere Classic.
After going off on the back and carding four consecutive pars to start his round, Spieth made his first birdie, a kick-in at the short par-4 14th, and went on a tear. In a seven-hole stretch from Nos. 14-2, he made four birdies and an eagle to get to minus-6 and put the cut line well behind him.
“From there the cut line was out of my head, and then it was just how can we move up the board a little more?” he said.
Following two more birdies at Nos. 5 and 7, and two key up-and-downs at 4 and 6, Spieth actually took it as low as 8 under before making his first and only bogey of the day thanks to a wayward drive at the par-4 eighth.
The flat stick that wouldn’t cooperate for him in Round 1 turned red hot in Round 2, as Spieth needed just 25 putts on Friday and one-putted seven greens on his second nine. Through the morning wave, he’s leading the field in the second round in strokes gained-putting.
“I let a couple slide by the hole early, and then I just told myself, ‘I’m not going to miss any more putts low,’” he said. “I was a little more aggressive today and it paid off.”
Spieth can now transition from worrying about the weekend to focusing on potentially winning this event for the second time in three years.
“Today was a solid round to put myself into position to maybe make a little run at it,” he said.