Rory McIlroy was determined to take the positives from his US Open performance, despite seeing his winless run in majors extended at Torrey Pines.
McIlroy was part of a four-way tie for the lead after making a birdie on the fourth hole of the final round, but three putted the 11th and ran up a double bogey on the 12th to effectively end his chances.
The 32-year-old eventually signed for a closing 73 to finish five shots behind Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm in a tie for seventh, but was pleased with the signs of progress he saw in San Diego.
"Overall it's been a positive week," said McIlroy, whose last major victory came in the 2014 US PGA.
"I gave myself a great chance today. Even through 10 holes, I was right in the thick of things. It was really two holes that basically stopped the run at the title."
McIlroy missed the cut in the defence of his Players Championship title earlier this season and also made an early exit from the Masters, but won for the first time since November 2019 in the Wells Fargo Championship last month.
"I feel with me it's just subtle tweaks here and there," McIlroy added.
"It sometimes feels further away than it actually is, but going from walking away Friday night from Augusta to basically being right in the thick of things in the back nine of the US Open, it hasn't felt like it's been a quick turnaround, but I definitely am on the right path.
"I feel way more comfortable with what I'm doing way out on the course, especially in a situation like this.
"I think the best way to describe it is I think the last few times I've been in this sort of position, I've went out on Sunday hoping to play well, where I feel like now I know what to do to play well and I know I have the tools to play well, and it's just a matter of execution and sticking to what I've been working on.
"I have to take the positives from this week. Yes, it is disappointing that I had a chance and didn't get the job done, but considering where I've been the previous few majors, it's a big step in the right direction."