From Brian Keogh in Detroit

US Ryder Cup skipper Paul Azinger reckons that triple major champion Padraig Harrington is like a cross between Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.

The fiery American watched the Dubliner "steal" the US PGA title from under Sergio Garcia's nose on Sunday with a performance that reminded him of the six-time English major winner.

But he also pointed to Harrington's ability to put on his game face like Woods and turn on a class performance when the heat is on.

Harrington is Europe's equivalent of Tiger Woods and Azinger knows that taking out the Irish hero in a Ryder Cup situation would be a massive boost to his chances of crushing Europe's bid for a fourth win on the trot.

Comparing Harrington to Woods, Azinger said: "There's no doubt that beating Tiger Woods in the Ryder Cup has given Europe a boost. Maybe our team kind of looks up and goes, "Oh my gosh, Tiger's losing".

"The difficult thing at Ryder Cup is that you can't really necessarily target an individual because you know when they are going to tee off; we don't know when Padraig is going to tee off. But if somebody happens to beat Padraig, I'm sure it would give us a boost.

"The thing about Padraig is his personality has just changed and you can hear in his press conference yesterday the confidence in his voice. He's a different person.

"Winning tournaments like this will change who you are and how you perceive yourself. It's interesting because I think that all off us sometimes go into a specific character when we get on that first tee and you maintain that character throughout 18 holes."

Azinger reckons that Harrington has created a new persona for himself that has made him as clinical as Faldo was in tough situations.

And that will make the Dubliner a dangerous man when he turns up in Valhalla for the Ryder Cup next month.

Azinger explained: "It's either a negative character, you beat yourself up all the time, or it's a positive individual. You can pretend you are somebody else if you want. I think all of us do it, whether consciously or sub-consciously.

"Tiger comes to the golf course and he puts on a certain kind of a face. Well it looks to me like Padraig has gone out there and he has put on this particular face and he has decided that who he is ' is a confident player who's going to through this mental process and that's who he's become. He's given himself opportunities and has taken advantage of it.

"The point of trying to win these big tournaments is you have certain times when you can either blow up or do it. That's just what he's been able to do. I'm very happy for him. He's very likeable and I really like him a lot. The great thing about him this week is he did it without his best stuff and he'll admit that."

Asked if he felt that HArrington's performance at Oakland Hills was Tigeresque, Azinger said: It's real Faldoesque, real methodical. Just kind of robbing the guy you are playing with. It seems like Faldo was able to do that and sometimes he just went out and stole it.

"He's done it in front of a guy that he's sort of friends with, almost, and he took it from Greg Norman, who was the story of that week at Royal Birkdale.

"Here he took it from Sergio who looked like he was going to be the story. You've got to give him credit for doing what he had to do to win on golf's greatest stage. And he's done it three times."