Rory McIlroy feels his game is making strides in the right direction as he prepares to rectify his rotten 2013 by successfully defending his USPGA Championship title at Oak Hill this week.
The 24-year-old's poor form so far this season was unrelenting at last month's Open Championship at Muirfield as the Northern Irishman failed to make the weekend cut as he toiled to a 12 over par finish.
Having being accused of lacking focus throughout the summer, the world number three showed signs of improvement at last weekend's WGC Bridgestone Invitational, surviving the course before eventually succumbing to the impressive performance of runaway leader Tiger Woods, who secured the championship with a seven shot win.
With the final major of the season days away, McIlroy feels he has finally turned a corner, although he admits he is still has some way to go before he is back to his irresistible best.
"I definitely had a better week last year, coming out of Firestone with a lot of confidence going into the PGA, feeling good about my game," McIlroy said of his fifth place finish at Firestone last year, the prelude to his USPGA triumph.
"I keep saying my game doesn't feel too far away. It's obviously not where I want it to be, but it's not a million miles away.
"I thought I struck the ball much better in the final round than I did the previous three days, which was great, which was a good sign."
McIlroy's turbulent year has yet to yield success after experiencing his fair share of it in 2012 when he secured five wins including a second major win at Kiawah Island by a record eight shots. Having said at the beginning of the year that he will be disappointed not to add to his major haul by the end of the season, he still feels he has time to turn things around.
"Obviously I didn't score very well the first day, then I didn't hit it particularly well in the middle two rounds, but actually my short game was good and was able to keep myself around par.
"On Sunday I played nicely, just a couple of bad holes on the back nine. But I have put in a lot of work for the past couple of weeks and I definitely feel things are going in the right direction.
"Once I get my long game back on track, I feel like my short game is exactly where it needs to be. If I can start hitting some fairways, hopefully I can challenge for some tournaments."