Adam Scott and Marc Leishman have found some welcome form ahead of the season's milestone final major to finish as the top Australians at the U.S. Open in Massachusetts.
On another day of tough going at The Country Club, Scott and Leishman each posted final-round two-under-par 68s to jump into a tie for 14th.
At two-over for the championship, the veteran pair finished eight shots behind English winner Matthew Fitzpatrick.
More significantly, it was the first top-15 result outside of the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play for both Aussie big guns since the Genesis Invitational in Los Angles in February.
“I really enjoyed the week. I feel like I had a plan for the golf course and it worked well,” Scott said after the final round. “Of course when you're not winning, you can easily point out areas where you can do better. The last three holes on Friday probably really cost me a good run at this tournament over the weekend.
“That's my simple explanation after just walking off. It would have been nice to be under par on Friday night and been feeling like I'm really in contention, but I was on the periphery all week.”
Their major form bodes well ahead of an eagerly awaited return to St. Andrews for the 150th Open Championship from July 14-17.
Leishman, Scott and fellow Australian Jason Day all had huge opportunities to claim the Claret Jug the last time The Open was played at the home of golf in 2015.
"The last three holes on Friday probably really cost me a good run at this tournament over the weekend. It would have been nice to be under par on Friday night and been feeling like I'm really in contention, but I was on the periphery all week.” - Adam Scott.
Day led into the final round only to finish a shot shy, Scott hit the lead early on the back nine but faltered down the stretch and Leishman fell agonisingly short in a four-hole playoff with Louis Oosthuizen and eventual champion Zach Johnson.
The trio will get another crack next month, with Scott and Leishman sure to return to the famous Scottish links with renewed confidence.
After a steady opening nine on Sunday, Scott made three birdies between the 10th and 14th to climb the leaderboard.
Leishman bounced back from his disappointing third-round 73 and had three birdies on the front nine to make a charge, but was unable to keep the run going.
Min Woo Lee was the next-best Australian in a tie for 27th at five-over after being unable to deliver another special Sunday round like he produced on his Masters debut in April.
Lee entered the final round six strokes off the pace, giving himself an outside chance of completing an extraordinary family double after his sister Minjee won the U.S. Women's Open two weeks ago.
But the 24-year-old's dreams were dashed early on the unforgiving Brookline course, when he followed up a double bogey on the 3rd with bogeys on the 4th and 6th.
Lee clawed back one stroke on the 9th, dropped another shots on the back nine but picked up two birdies on the 14th and 16th in a steely finish from the 24-year-old.
Australian qualifier Todd Sinnott ended his impressive major championship debut with an even-par 70 for a six-over total in a tie for 31st.