The 2011 Masters champ began the day tied for 78th on four-over-par, but charged back into the fight with birdies at the second, fifth and ninth.
"I played very well today," he said. "Changed a few things, changed the putter, and it really gave me some confidence. It made some nice birdie putts. So it's definitely easier in the morning."
A bogey at the 16th marked the only blemish on Schwartzel’s card, but the Vereeniging local had just made birdie at the 14th and wrapped up his second loop in level-par 35.
Ball-striking and long irons are the whispers floating around bookies at Muirfield this year, and few hit it purer than Schwartzel. On Friday the dry links made stopping the ball near impossible, yet somehow Schwartzel did.
The world number 14 wrapped up his halfway total at one-over-par and shared 19th early on in the day, but with the tough scoring conditions he may rise even higher by the end of round two. To summarise, Schwartzel is in the running going into the weekend.
Branden Grace fought his way back above the cut line with a respectable 71 during the second round. He showed that age-defying maturity he’s famous for when he recovered from a double-bogey five at the fourth hole.