Rory McIlroy is hoping his lengthy preparation process will boost his bid for a second US Open title.
The 2011 champion rented a house near the Shinnecock Hills course immediately after sharing eighth place in the Memorial Tournament on 3 June.
Speaking before Thursday’s opening round, the Northern Irishman said the local conditions remind him of home.
“I love the golf course, especially with how the conditions have been,” said McIlroy.
“The wind and dryness remind me a bit of courses back home.”
The four-time major winner’s victory at Congressional in 2011 saw him break numerous tournament records, but his performances in the event since have been mixed. This time round he has spent more time in the area in the run up in a bid to boost his chances.
“I’ve spent quite a bit of time here and think I played 18 out of 19 days, before taking a day off on Saturday.
“I came straight after Memorial and played a few courses in the area. I’ve had a bit of fun and a good few looks at this course and I’m looking forward to getting started,” he said.
His best finish since his win is a tie for ninth in 2015 and he has missed the cut the last two years but the Northern Irishman believes he can play himself into contention.
“I have a win this year, which is great, and have got myself into contention quite a few times. I would love to do that again this week,” he added.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been in the mix in this championship. Hopefully I can put myself in position to win.”
McIlroy will play alongside US pair Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson, teeing off at 13:02 BST.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/44472117