Getty Images

Isn't it funny what a quick trip back home can do for the game? After sputtering out of the gates at the 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge, both of the local lads — Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler — jumped back into the mix with rounds in the 60s Friday on the newly revamped Colonial Country Club.

Spieth carded a 3-under 67 to stand at 2 under for the tournament, and Scheffler carded a 5-under 65 to get one clear of his fellow Longhorn, but the two got the their final scores in varying fashions. As it stands, the duo is securely on the first couple pages of the leaderboard, with Sungjae Im and Keegan Bradley leading the way at just 6 under.

The festivities began early and often in the case of Spieth as the 2016 champion rolled in a 25-foot birdie bid on the par-4 10th to begin his round. A successful up-and-down on No. 11 led to another before a birdie bomb from outside 40 feet found the bottom of the cup on the next.

Spieth quickly went from over par to the first page of the leaderboard, and he did as much as touch the lead when his approach on the par-4 15th settled just inches from the cup to set up his fifth birdie of the morning. With plenty of runway still out in front of him, the 30-year-old appeared keen on posting something special as he turned in 5-under 30.

A par 5 awaited Spieth around the turn, and after splitting the fairway with the big stick, a poor long iron left him in a difficult position in the greenside bunker, where he was ultimately unable to get up-and-down for his sixth birdie. In fact, birdie No. 6 never arrived for Spieth; he didn't put another circle on his scorecard and instead added two squares to come home in 2-over 37.

Spieth's performance is especially frustrating given that he's consistently putting himself dead center of the fairway. In a strange turn of events, Spieth's game is no longer buoyed by his putting, his short game or even his nifty wedge play — all of which have hindered him at some stage this year — but rather his driver. Long and straight off the tee, Spieth appears close to finding and putting the rest of the pieces together, and there may be no better course for him to do that at than Colonial.

While Spieth surged on his opening nine en route to his subpar round, Scheffler settled into his day. He showed a little frustration on the greens when he misread his birdie putt on No. 11, but he got it right back when he knocked in a 15 footer for his first birdie of the round on No. 13.

Similar to Spieth, Scheffler's iron play held him back as he was unable to figure out the first hop into the putting surfaces. Leaving his approach shots 30 to 40 feet short in the early stages of his round, the frustration that overtook Scheffler on the greens extended to his irons.

However, as the world No. 1 so often does, he adjusted and he figured things out. A wedge into the 18th left him a tap-in birdie to turn in 2 under, starting a streak of four straight birdies in which the longest putt he holed was just 3 feet. The iron play returned in a flurry and propelled the top player in the game near the top of the leaderboard in Fort Worth. 

With the middle of his round defined by those scoring clubs, Scheffler leaned on his short game late to secure his bogey-free effort. An up-and-down from the greenside bunker on No. 8 after a poor tee shot kept the 27-year-old at 3 under, and he would do one better on the next when his chip-in par attempt fell to put a bow on his 65. 

After opening with over-par rounds, both Spieth and Scheffler signed for red figures Friday to put them in position once again at one of their hometown events. Spieth, already a winner here, looks for his first victory in more than two years; Scheffler, already a runner-up here, looks for his fifth win of the season. Although different in the context of each careers, a win at Colonial would go a long way for both, just as their second-round performances went a long way for their tournament aspirations.