Rory McIlroy said missing the cut at the U.S. Open may be a "blessing in disguise for the rest of the year" after his strong start at the Travelers Championship.
The four-time major champion failed to make the weekend at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 78 and 71.
McIlroy feels that setback could work to his advantage in the long run after starting with a six-under 64 at TPC River Highlands on Thursday to sit just a shot behind joint-leaders Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth.
"I feel like the work that I did over the weekend has started to pay off already," said the world number seven. "It was nice to see the shots I was playing right there, and being able to work the ball both ways was something I wasn't quite as comfortable doing last week.
"Obviously you never want to miss a cut in a major, but it might have been a blessing in disguise for the rest of the year,
"I'm trying to get back to the way I swung in sort of 2010, 2011, but it's sort of hard because my body has changed quite a bit since then and the feelings I have. But the feeling I have right now is the feeling I had in the middle of 2009.
"So it's just trying to go back, and, okay, I was swinging it really well then, but what was I doing? What was I thinking about? What was the focus on the swing? I'm just trying to rack my brain to recreate feelings that I had back then.
"That's basically what I did over the weekend. I got a feeling that really sort of resonated with me and brought me back to a time when I was swinging it really well, and just sort of went with that feeling."