Adam Scott admits there is little hope of reeling in runaway US PGA Championship leader Brooks Koepka but he plans to finish strongly to maintain his majors momentum ahead of next month's US Open.
After a poor 2017, Scott contended in the 2018 British Open and US PGA Championship and followed it up at last month's Masters, sharing the 36-hole lead.
The resurgent Australian's best hope was at last year's PGA Championship, when he played in the final group with eventual winner Koepka, sharing the lead before finishing third.
Scott was well in contention during the first two rounds at Bethpage Black this week, but a two-over par 72 left him at three-under and nine shots behind the dominant Koepka.
On a tough day of scoring, Koepka salvaged an even-par 70 and, at 12 under, leads by seven from world No.1 Dustin Johnson (69), Luke List (69), Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond (67) and Harold Varner (67).
Scott all but ruled himself out of the title race.
But he wanted to build towards a long-awaited second major win, to sit alongside his 2013 Masters victory.
"For me, the focus obviously is not winning tomorrow, it's just to go out there and shoot a great score," Scott said.
"I want to try to have a good finish in a major and take something out of the week."
Boosting Scott's hopes of success at the upcoming US Open or British Open is a significant improvement in his putting.
Although a world-class ball striker, putting has been the former world No.1's Achilles' heel. But he is ranked 15th on the US PGA Tour for strokes gained in putting, his best rank in 15 years.
The 38-year-old is using the longer broomstick putter and, in Friday's second round at the PGA, holed 165 feet of putts - the most in his career.