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."
18. Juni 2018
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|Pogba a natural leader for France - Matuidi|
|Frampton to face Jackson as Fury continues comeback in Belfast|
|Team effort needed for Japan to stop James, says Nishino|
|BREAKING NEWS: Di Francesco extends Roma contract|
|It was a normal challenge - Switzerland equaliser fine by Shaqiri|
|Hamilton hopes to avoid ´boring´ French Grand Prix|
|Coutinho expects more Neymar punishment at World Cup|
|Cisse hails Mane as ´one of the best players in the world´|
|Forsberg falls flat as Granqvist proves Sweden´s hero|
|Sweden 1 South Korea 0: Granqvist´s VAR-assisted penalty settles tight game|
|Nishino concerned Japan players affected by Osaka earthquake|
|Isco pleased with Lopetegui´s Real Madrid appointment|
|Hazard hints at Real Madrid interest|
|Wasps disappointed as Wilson joins Scotland backroom staff|
|Hierro has full confidence in De Gea|
|Russia will stop Salah - Cherchesov|
|Allen signs new four-year Stoke contract|
|England issue update over injured duo Stokes and Woakes|
|Mancini leaves door open for Buffon´s Italy return|
|Alli calls for England to be ruthless in World Cup opener|
|Tahir rested as Proteas call up uncapped duo|
|Uruguay v Saudi Arabia: Centurion Suarez seeks World Cup redemption|
|Portugal v Morocco: Hat-trick hero Ronaldo hunts stricken Atlas Lions|
|Argentina didn´t draw because of Messi´s missed penalty - Maradona|
|Wenger heaps praise on France star Kante|
|If VAR helps referees, I´m not against that – Australia´s Sainsbury|
|Kimmich questions Germany mentality after shock defeat|
|Roberts to leave Warrington Wolves|
|Australia talent Arzani ready to make the jump from A-League|
|Lewandowski: I can be at the top until I´m 35|
|All Blacks winger Savea confirms Toulon switch|
|Free Fall available for France after red card rescinded|
|South Korea can progress from wide-open group, says Park Ji-sung|
|Gordon called up by Wallabies to replace injured Genia|
|Germany can still win World Cup, insists Werner|
|Man United & Real Madrid talk not affecting Milinkovic-Savic|
|Out-of-contract Ruiz focused on Costa Rica|
|Southgate will not bombard England with last-minute instructions|
|Muller: Germany under extreme pressure|
|Rangers score four runs in ninth to pick up walk-off win over Rockies|
|U.S. Open champion Koepka happy to continue being ´overlooked´|
|Pogba: I´m the most criticised player in the world|
|Maradona: Sampaoli´s game plan against Iceland was a disgrace|
|De Gea will bounce back from error – Marchena|
|Slater named for Maroons return|
|Woods, Faldo, Harrington and Koepka – U.S. Open champion joins fine club after successful defence|
|Fleetwood positive despite falling short at U.S. Open|
|Jesus: I had no reason to play for a penalty|
|Hernandez admits to exaggerating fouls against Australia|
|Koepka says winning two U.S. Opens not even in his ´wildest dreams´|
|Hernandez: Griezmann an idol at Atletico|
|Sri Lanka take charge despite Gabriel exploits|
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|Koepka fights off challengers to successfully defend U.S. Open title|
|´Aching´ Neymar urges referees to intervene|
|BREAKING NEWS: Koepka holds on to defend U.S. Open title|
17. Juni 2018
|Lozano goal causes artificial earthquake in Mexico|
|Djokovic: Mental battle will be Murray´s biggest|
|Hummels criticises Germany tactics in Mexico loss|
|Brazil the latest favourites to stumble, but Tite and Neymar won´t panic|
|Magnificent Fleetwood matches U.S. Open record with closing 63|
|Brazil 1 Switzerland 1: Zuber pegs back below-par Selecao|
|Warrington hold off Wakefield fightback, Tigers held despite Hitchcox heroics|
|Germany follow trend of poor starts for World Cup champions|
|Reed on the charge as U.S. Open race hots up|
|Milinkovic-Savic can play for any team in Europe, says Crespo|
|Southgate keen to unleash his bold new England|
|Konta fumes as Barty takes Nottingham title|
|Kante hails Pogba´s match-winning contribution|