US Open: Rory McIlroy happy with conditions at Merion
- Merion Golf Club, Ardmore
- 13-16 June
- Live on BBC Radio 5 live from 21:00 BST on Saturday and Sunday; daily live text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Rory McIlroy says he is close to the form that could see him turn a disappointing 2013 around as he prepares for the US Open at Merion.
The world number two, not at his best since his multi-million pound equipment change in January, admitted he had endured a frustrating year so far.
But he believed the Pennsylvania course and conditions would suit him.
"The fact the course is playing a bit softer definitely gives me an advantage," said the Northern Irishman.
"It is probably going to play into my hands a bit more and my iron play is dialled in. As long as I can put it in the fairway I can take advantage of it."
McIlroy has been paired with Tiger Woods and Masters champion Adam Scott in the opening two rounds as the USGA continued its tradition of putting the world's top three in the same group.
The 24-year-old hopes to take advantage of being in such a high-profile group despite lowered expectations due to his relatively poor form in 2013.
"It is always nice to be part of a group like that," McIlroy added.
"It is something I am excited about. I like it because there is a lot of buzz and atmosphere and it gets you focused from the first shot."
McIlroy added: "It has been a frustrating year. If you had told me we would be at this point and I had not won and had been playing the way I had, I would have been disappointed.
"But I feel good about my game and it is just about staying patient and knowing that it is going to turn around eventually.
"It is all heading in the right direction. This would be the perfect place to get back into contention."