Rory McIlroy is hoping a busy stretch of golf will bring a return to form after making an early exit from the US Open.
for the second year running, posting an erratic opening-round 78 before shooting a one-under 71 on Friday at Erin Hills.
McIlroy was making his first appearance since last month’s Players Championship, with a rib injury limiting him to six competitive starts in 2017.
The four-time major champion was joint-bottom of the field for finding fairways on Thursday and was three over after 12 holes of his second round, but was keen to take the positives from a fast finish to his day.
“I showed up for the last six holes at least,” joked McIlroy, who posted four birdies along his closing stretch. “I saw some positives there on the back nine coming in.
“Even though it’s very disappointing to not be here on the weekend, I think these last two rounds will serve me well going into the summer.
“I missed the cut, but I’m optimistic going forward. I know I’m doing the right thing. I feel good about the putting, and I just have to put four rounds under my belt.”
McIlroy will now play three tournaments in a four-week stretch ahead of next month’s Open Championship, as he looks to take some form into the second half of the year.
The Northern Irishman will appear at next week’s Travelers Championship before hosting the Irish Open and playing the Scottish Open, with McIlroy not concerned with his first missed cut since last year’s PGA Championship.
“I know if I go out and play the golf I’m capable of, good things should happen,” McIlroy added. “I’m just focusing on doing what I can do and I want to win tournaments.
“I’m hungry, but I’m not going to force it. I’m going to play. The worst thing I can do is go and force it, because that’s not my game.
“If I do the right thing, I hit fairways, I swing it better and hole putts, it should all add up to being successful.”