Jason Day has put a target on good friend Adam Scott's back as he guns for the world No1 ranking and his first major championship.
After winning the World Golf Matchplay Championship in February, Day climbed to a career best world No 4. But a thumb injury has limited the 26-year-old to just two tournaments since, dropping him to No 7.
Now that the thumb has mended and he has got on top of a few pesky illnesses, Day is ready to tee off at the US Open.
He is looking to claim his first major championship and put the heat on Scott.
Though a win at Pinehurst won't be enough to get Day to the top of the rankings, it could catapult him to as high as No 2 - just a breath away from his fellow Queenslander.
Day has specifically targeted becoming the youngest ever Australian No 1 - Scott achieved it at 33 and Greg Norman at 31 - and still has five years up his sleeve.
"I definitely had a chance to get to that No 1 spot after the matchplay and that's been my dream ever since I was a little kid. So to say I was frustrated [being out injured] was a bit of an understatement," Day said.
"Scotty getting there has definitely given me more motivation."
Day plans not to use all five years to take down his mate, knowing a win in a major will take him towards the promise land.
In his 14 previous major championship starts, Day has already notched up three runner-up finishes, a third and two top 10s.
Last year, at Merion, he headed to the 11th tee on Sunday with the lead.
But he ultimately fell just two shots short of winner Justin Rose.
"I've been close in a few majors now, so close that you can almost taste it," he said. "It's disappointing and encouraging at the same time.
"It really is all how you look at things. I can stew on it and say I have kind of blown a major or two or I can say I had a real opportunity to win and I just didn't quite get there."
Day said he looked at those cases as experience.
"I just have to keep giving myself the opportunities. I just feel like it's bound to happen.
" I'm not going to give up this week. I'm going to keep fighting until it's over, and hopefully that's good enough." AAP