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."