McIlroy vows to avoid Muppet Show

Rory McIlroy admits he must stop acting the “muppet” and have more patience in his quest for US PGA glory.

The Ulsterman, 21, confessed that he’s in a big hurry to join pals Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen and become a major winner.

And having been warned by reformed hot-head Darren Clarke to go easier on himself on the course, the Holywood hotshot knows that patience is key to his chances of victory this week.

He said: “I played with Darren for the first two rounds of the Irish Open and shot seven under for the first two days.

“I thought I was playing quite nicely and I shook his hand on Friday and he said: ‘Be patient, ya muppet.’

“He could obviously see I was getting a little bit upset because I felt for the first two days in Killarney that I could have gotten to 11 or 12 under par and been leading.

“Sometimes it is hard for me to accept that you’re not going to have a good day all the time.”

Tied for third at halfway in the Irish Open, McIlroy slumped to 35th at the finish as he lost the plot over the weekend.

He confessed: “I was very, very down on myself in Killarney and wasn’t accepting of the fact that I was having a bad day on Saturday.

“I let my head go down and tried to get to the clubhouse as fast as possible. But it’s hard for someone as young as I am to have patience all the time.”

McIlroy, 21, knows he has a golden opportunity to become the youngest winner of the US PGA for 79 years and the third youngest in the event’s 92-year history.

And as the third favourite behind superstars Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods to lift the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday, he’s finding it tough to wait for his first major win.

He explained: “Everyone tells me, ‘Rory just be patient’, but sometimes it’s hard to do that and when you’re trying to get somewhere so fast.

“It’s only my third year as a pro and success has come quite fast and you don’t really want to slow down.

“If there has been anything in the past two and a half three years that I have struggled with it, it has been accepting and being patient.

“I have to curb my enthusiasm and just let it happen a little bit. Patience is the key this week because there are going to be times when you’re going to hit the ball in the rough or in one of these deep bunkers and you’re going to have to take your punishment and be happy with a bogey and move on.”

McIlroy has just two tournament wins to his credit and while he was third in the Open at St Andrews and third in the US PGA last year, he’s never contended on the last day of a major.

Believing he has what it takes, he said: “The hardest part is getting yourself into the position but if you look at the win that I had this year at Quail Hollow, I held off Phil Mickelson and Angel Cabrera down the stretch, who are two major champions. 

“So if I can do that on a golf course like Quail Hollow, then there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to do it here.

“I know it’s a little bit different, it is a major, but the idea is the same, trying to get the ball in the hole.”