Jordan Spieth says his 'patience has been tested' with frustrating play this year

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- This has been a trying year for Jordan Spieth -- as much as that can be the case for a player ranked fifth in the world and who would not be a surprise to win a second U.S. Open title this week.

But Spieth, 24, has not won since The Open at Royal Birkdale last summer. He's had four top-10 finishes, but only one legitimate chance to win. And he's had some well-chronicled putting issues, including missing a number of short ones.

And Spieth admitted it has worn on him at times.

"I think my patience has been tested,'' he said Tuesday at Shinnecock Hills, the site of this week's U.S. Open. "Not going into Saturday or Sunday with a legitimate chance to win -- The Masters, the back nine, I ended up giving myself a chance.

"Just the limited number compared to previous years of chances I've had on the weekends has been frustrating. But Houston [where he tied for third] was a really big weekend for me of settling down and getting back on the right track with things and recognizing that it's a long career; results aren't going to come by wanting them to come.

"They're going to come by being obsessed with the process, getting back to the basics of being an athlete, figuring out the swing, the intricacies of the game, the reason I love to practice. That's what is going to kind of bring it back, and results aren't everything.''

Spieth's best chance came at the Masters, where he shot a final-round 64 that included a final-hole bogey at the Masters to finish third, two strokes behind winner Patrick Reed. Spieth has had some struggles over the past month, failing to crack the top 20 in four tournaments, including a missed cut at the Memorial.

Spieth began 2018 behind because of a holiday bout with mono that he said affected his preparation. When he finally started to come around, his putting seemingly became an issue, with some short misses. For the year, he ranks 190th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained, putting.

"Everyone goes through peaks and valleys of results in any part of your game, and I just got a little off in setup, and I'm really starting to bring it back now. It feels very good. I actually had a strong performance on the greens at (the Memorial). It was my one bad ballstriking week of the year, so I didn't get four rounds in. But I putted well there and am trending in the right direction. I just had a lot of patience with it, and it's coming along nicely. So I have a good chance at a strong second half of the year. Anything similar to the second half of what I did last year would make 2018 an amazing year.''

Spieth is playing the first two rounds with Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy. They tee off at 8:02 a.m. on Thursday.