Jason Day says his US Open instincts kicked in the minute he arrived at Shinnecock Hills for a measured preparation he hopes will finally deliver victory.
Day has compiled an impressive record at the US Open – with two runner-up finishes and three other top 10s from seven appearances – without tasting success.
But this year, former World No.1 Day is determined to be the last man standing on Long Island's iconic Shinnecock Hills.
Queenslander Day credits the way he has embraced US Open venues, which are billed as golf's toughest test, for his record.
"Tournaments like this, you get into survival mode, you have to stay mentally switched on and grind constantly," Day told AAP.
"I like stressful situations; I thrive when I have to hit a clutch shot under pressure or from a difficult position, and Shinnecock is the best example of that."
During a nine-hole practice round on Monday, Day fired laser-like iron shots through strong winds into Shinnecock's notoriously difficult greens.
It prompted close friend and fellow pro golfer David Lutterus – an alternate in the US Open field after he narrowly missed out in sectional qualifying last week – to remark it was "just about the best" approach play he had seen from Day.
But Day, who has won twice already on the PGA Tour this year, believes his short game will be just as vital, with tournament organiser the USGA renowned for presenting lightning fast greens and thick rough.
The 30-year-old Day is ranked No.1 on the US Tour for strokes gained in putting, third from around the green and fourth from the sand.
"Yes I do (have good numbers) but you also have to know where to miss it," Day said.
"You can have the best stats ever, but if you don't position yourself correctly you can walk off the course shaking your head.
"That's why practice rounds are important; you study the course thoroughly but also try to conserve energy for the tournament.
"I'm looking forward to the test."
World No.8 Day headlines a nine-man Australian contingent at the year's second major, alongside Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Aaron Baddeley, Matt Jones, Lucas Herbert, Jason Scrivener and David Bransdon.
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press