Jordan Spieth lamented his play on the greens after the first round of the US PGA Championship, insisting he could not have putted worse on Thursday.
The fast greens have caused players problems at Quail Hollow, but a pair of late birdies helped Spieth salvage a one-over 72 in the opening round.
Spieth, 24, will have to come from behind if he is to win the year's final major and break the record for youngest player to claim a career Grand Slam.
But the American says his form with the flat stick must improve if he is to be in contention.
"I drove the ball well. Struck it pretty good. If you told me I was going to hit my driver the way that I did, I would have definitely thought I shot a few under par which was an awesome score. It was good," Spieth said.
"If it stays that way…I can't putt any worse than I did. The score won't be any higher than it was today if I'm driving the ball [the way I did]."
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Watched on by Olympic great and "good friend" Michael Phelps, Spieth made birdies on seven and eight for a much-needed late recovery.
But Spieth, who was five shots behind clubhouse leader Thorbjorn Olesen, was left frustrated by his missed opportunities with the putter.
"I don't think I was as free rolling as I thought I would be, as you can tell by some frustration," he said.
"If I would have shot one over and didn't strike it well and everything was average, it would have been fine.
"But when I had the chances that I had and I just couldn't get the ball to go in on the greens, that is when I get the most frustrated I can get out there."