Jordan Spieth Is a Wild Card

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

An observant golf reporter whose name escapes me right now pointed out during last week's Charles Schwab Challenge that wondering if Jordan Spieth is back is the new wondering if Texas football is back. This person wins closest-to-the-pin honors. Because Spieth, once the anointed one, is playing alternate shot with low lows and high highs in his five rounds since the Tour returned.

He rocketed out of the gates at Colonial, posting back-to-back 65s. The wheels stayed on Saturday with another two-under round before falling off on closing day, which saw three bogeys in a four-hole front-9 stretch that doomed any realistic chance of his first victory since the 2017 Open.

Going off early at the RBC Heritage this morning, Spieth wasted no time getting into serious trouble. He triple-bogeyed No. 12, his third hole played, to plummet to the cellar. But then, in true wild card fashion, the immensely talented and mercurial golfer channeled the better angels of his nature and simply caught fire.

It took a bit for the kindling to catch. Spieth rebounded by reclaiming a shot on the very next hole but things didn't ignite until after the turn, ripping off six consecutive birdies and seven in the final eight holes. The effort put him at five-under for the day and in perfect position to be in the weekend hunt.

He may not be reliable but he's fun as hell. Like your buddy Dennis, who flakes when he's supposed to help you move yet somehow redeems himself by getting free floor seats to the Knicks while renovating some rich guy's kitchen island. Spieth is equally likely to fly to the top of the leaderboard as he is to hit it with a hooked drive. It may not the be same way he became must-see television, but it's compelling nonetheless.

It'll take three more days of solid play to break that unfortunate victory drought. This has a Charlie Kelly-in-a-tuxedo suit vibe to it. You're not sure what's going to happen -- good or bad -- you just know it's going to be a thrill ride.