The challenge of slowing down for fast rising McIlroy

Kohler: British world number eight Rory McIlroy is a richly talented young golfer who is in a hurry but he readily accepts he needs to heed the words famously preached by Simon and Garfunkel in 1966.

The American duo`s whimsical "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin` Groovy)" begins with the line "Slow down, you move too fast" and McIlroy knows this should be his mantra.

"Sometimes it is hard for me to accept you`re not going to have a good day all the time," the 21-year-old Northern Irishman told reporters on the eve of this week`s U.S. PGA Championship.

"That`s something that I`m still learning -- trying to accept the days that don`t go as well as others do."

"Everyone tells me: `Rory just be patient,` but it`s hard to do that. It`s only my third year as a pro and the success has come quite fast. You don`t really want to slow down."

Widely tipped as a future world number one, McIlroy clinched his first PGA Tour victory in scintillating style at the Quail Hollow Championship in May, closing with a course record 10-under-par 62.

He again stunned the golfing world when he fired an opening 63 in last month`s British Open at St. Andrews, equalling the lowest round in a major, before ending the tournament in a tie for third.

That finish matched his joint third place in last year`s PGA Championship at Hazeltine National and was a welcome return to form after missed cuts at the Masters and U.S. Open earlier this season.

"The first two majors were obviously disappointing, but the third one at St. Andrews was a big boost," said McIlroy, who will be making only his ninth start in a major at Whistling Straits this week.

"Hopefully I can follow that up with another good week here. I feel I am coming into this event with some good stuff. Hopefully I can just keep that going for the next few days."

McIlroy tied for ninth in last week`s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, an elite event just one rung down from the majors.

Should he be in contention coming down the stretch in Sunday`s final round at Whistling Straits, the mop-haired professional from Holywood is confident he will be able to handle the pressure.

"(It`s all about) patience," McIlroy said. "That`s the hardest part -- getting yourself into position. At Quail Hollow, I held off Phil Mickelson and (Angel) Cabrera down the stretch, and they 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."

McIlroy is scheduled to tee off with American world number four Steve Stricker and Australian Adam Scott at 1315 local (1815 GMT) in Thursday`s opening round.

Bureau Report