Jordan Spieth is confident his putting is heading in the right direction as he bids to win the U.S. Open for the second time.
Spieth has endured a frustrating 2018 so far, carding only two top-five finishes. He was third at the Masters behind Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler, having finished tied-third at the Houston Open a week earlier.
The short game has been an issue for the three-time major winner, who prevailed in the U.S. Open in 2015 at Chambers Bay, Spieth ranking 190th on the PGA Tour this season in strokes gained putting.
But Spieth believes he is turning a corner with the flat stick, telling a media conference at Shinnecock Hills: "Everyone goes through peaks and valleys of results in any part of your game, and I just got a little off in setup, and I'm really starting to bring it back now. It feels very good.
"I had, actually, a strong performance on the greens at Muirfield [Village, at the Memorial Tournament]. It was my one bad ball-striking week of the year, so I didn't get four rounds in. But I putted well there and am trending in the right direction.
"I just kind of had a lot of patience with it, and it's coming along nicely. The game feels like it's in really good shape right now, as good as it has this year. So [I've] got a good chance at a strong second half of the year.
"Anything similar to the second half of what I did last year [when he won The Open] would make 2018 an amazing year."
Extended this year to 7,445 yards, Shinnecock Hills has not hosted the U.S. Open since 2004, when only winner Retief Goosen and Phil Mickelson finished under par.
Spieth rejects the notion those who played 14 years ago have an advantage, adding: "I don't think so at all, based on what I've heard has been changed. I really don't - I don't think experience plays any role in this golf tournament this week.
"People who have come here and played a lot of golf here over the last two, three years, that certainly helps. The more you can see a place and see different wind conditions, bounces, that kind of stuff. I don't think the 2004 Open is going to help anybody."
He said of the U.S. Open in general: "It's the toughest test in golf. The Masters is the Masters. The Open Championship, the oldest championship, typically links golf course, a different style of golf altogether, really playing in [tough] conditions.
"The U.S. Open has that hardest test of golf to it, where you have the tallest rough, you get guys who are advancing full swings like six feet.
"I did it last year. I have done it multiple times in a U.S. Open. That's just what the U.S. Open is. It's very different from any other golf tournament and any other major."
|Classy Nadal downs Tiafoe to set up Tsitsipas semi|
|Hoedt leaves Southampton for Celta Vigo on loan|
|Melbourne City 4 Western Sydney Wanderers 3: Hosts edge thriller with two goals in last six minutes|
|Wilder won´t even pick up the phone - Hearn not hopeful of AJ bout|
|Sala was on board missing plane, say French authorities|
|Arsenal´s Bellerin out for season with ACL rupture|
|Gatland waiting on ´concrete´ offers|
|Ronaldo accepts prison sentence and €18.8m fine for tax fraud|
|Tsitsipas: It was vital to back up Federer win|
|Awesome Kvitova ends Barty´s home run in Melbourne|
|CA rejects Thunder appeal for full points in abandoned Heat clash|
|Emiliano Sala: Concerns grow for Cardiff striker after plane goes missing|
|Harden unimpressed with refs in Rockets´ 76ers disappointment|
|Ronaldo arrives for sentencing in tax fraud case|
|Record-breaking evening ´one of those nights´ for Warriors star Thompson|
|Hazard still interested in Real Madrid but won´t rule out Chelsea stay|
|Collins moves past Pavlyuchenkova, into Australian Open semis|
|Kohli makes history with ICC awards sweep|
|Thompson sets NBA record with 10 straight made three-pointers to open game|
|76ers hand Rockets largest loss of season, Harden scores 37 points|
|Tsitsipas overcomes Bautista Agut to continue Aus Open run|
|Barcelona move a ´dream come true´ for Boateng|
|Rams coach McVay on Gurley: I´ve got to get him more opportunities|
|Butler´s sprained wrist not expected to keep him out ´long term´|
|Saints owner Benson will ´aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies´|
|Levante to take Copa case to CAS|
|It can happen – Allegri plays down Ronaldo penalty miss|
|Mavericks´ Doncic becomes second-youngest player to record triple-double|
|Yankees send Sonny Gray to Reds|
|Ashley Cole reunited with Frank Lampard at Derby County|
|Arnold ready to mix things up in 2019 Asian Cup quarter-finals|
|Arum: Joshua desperately needs to fight in the United States|
|South Korea v Bahrain: Bento optimistic of continuing unblemished campaign|
|Bolton Wanderers 0 West Brom 2: Baggies bounce up to third after tennis ball protest|
|Confident Moeen ready to shine for England in the Caribbean|
|Juventus 3 Chievo 0: Allegri´s men cruise despite Ronaldo penalty save|
|Boateng completes shock Barcelona switch|
|United Arab Emirates 3 Kyrgyzstan 2 (after extra time): Khalil penalty sets up Socceroos showdown|
|West Indies add Drakes to new-look coaching team|
|Barcelona is a huge opportunity – Boateng confirms shock move is close|
|Donnarumma wishes Higuain luck ahead of expected Chelsea switch|
|Qatar v Iraq: Katanec anticipating ´huge challenge´ in last 16|
|Nuno hit with FA misconduct charge for pitch celebration|
|Furious Carreno Busta and Zverev bow out, Djokovic marches on|
|#NotMartinFromWakefield – Siewert shows viral sensation the door|
|Djokovic feeling the strain after late-night Medvedev battle|
|Henderson sidelined again ahead of Six Nations|
|Australia 0 Uzbekistan 0 (aet, 4-2 on penalties): Ryan heroics see holders hobble onwards|
|Halep exit leaves four-way fight to be crowned number one at Australian Open|
|Super Bowl-bound Rams set for London return, Chiefs to face Chargers in Mexico|
|Huddersfield appoint Siewert as Wagner´s replacement|
|Genoa 0 AC Milan 2: Borini and Suso step up with Higuain left out|
|McTominay signs new Manchester United contract|
|Pizzi to stand down after Saudi Arabia elimination|
|Boateng closing in on shock Barcelona switch - reports|
|Catalans to defend Challenge Cup after resolving RFL dispute|
|Djokovic wears down Medvedev to reach last eight|
|Mouratoglou: I knew ´loyal´ Serena would not fire me after US Open turmoil|
|Barcelona B defender Wague accuses Ejea fans of racist abuse|
|I felt like I had been hit by a train - Halep upbeat despite losing Serena battle|
|Arsenal confirm Mislintat departure|
|Icardi will renew, 100 per cent - Wanda Nara offers latest Inter assurance|
|Japan 1 Saudi Arabia 0: Four-time winners send Pizzi´s men out|
|A souvlaki maybe named after him, a growing fan base – Tsitsipas creating Melbourne buzz|
|Barca winger Dembele out for 15 days|
|Strikers blown away by Hurricanes in Adelaide|
|Ireland lose Beirne for England and Scotland clashes|
|´Innate fighter´ Serena says character key to beating Halep|
|Hudson-Odoi ´an outstanding talent´ - Bayern great Ballack hails Chelsea youngster|
|Scotland call up four as hand injury forces Watson out|