Northern Ireland golf sensation Rory McIlroy makes his US PGA Championship debut this week in Minnesota. Nothing if not ambitious, the 20-year-old says he hopes he gets a chance to go head-to-head with Tiger Woods.

"I think everyone would love to be in the position that Pádraig was in on Sunday going head-to-head with Tiger, especially having a three-shot lead and trying to hold him off," he said at a press conference Tuesday.

McIlroy finished in 68th place at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last weekend, but takes solace from the knowledge that he has been very consistent in the first three majors of the year.

"For my first year in the majors, I've done very well," said the Hollywood, County Down native.

'I've had a top-20 at the Masters, finished 10th at the US Open. Pretty disappointed at Turnberry not to finish higher. You know, the thing about majors, as well, is it's almost easier to get yourself into position in a major to do well, rather than a normal tournament because, I feel, you don't have to make as many birdies.

'You can just grind a few pars out and shoot a few decent scores around level par and you'll know that you'll not be far away. So in that respect, I feel as if I've done pretty well in the majors. I've learned how to be patient in these events, as well, because you have to be.”

McIlroy will tee off on Thursday at 10.55 a.m. from the 10th tee with former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and Martin Kaymer from Germany.