From Brian Keogh in Detroit

Padraig Harrington is Europe's Tiger Woods and US Ryder Cup skipper Paul Azinger wants to take him down at Valhalla next month.

The problem is that Azinger knows that Harrington has now reached a whole new level in the game - mixing the brilliance of Woods with the cool-headed tactical genius of Nick Faldo.

With less than three weeks to go before he completes his 12-man team with four wildcards, the American skipper knows that his boys will have to be on their toes against a player who is riding high on confidence with three wins from his last six major starts.

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."

According to the 1993 US PGA champion, Harrington has manufactured a game face that reminds him of Woods, or Nick Faldo in his prime.

He added: "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. And that 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."

Azinger sees more or Faldo than Woods in Harrington, whose back nine performances in the Open and the US PGA were almost Tigeresque.

He 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."

Azinger said he was "excited" about the eight players who qualified automatically for his team following Sunday's US PGA and will name his four wildcards in New York on September 2.

The eight are Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard, Ben Curtis and Boo Weekley.

And Azinger singled out US PGA joint runner up Curtis, the 2003 Open champion, for special mention.

He said: "I've had my eye on Ben Curtis for a long time and I really believe that Ben Curtis is going to add a lot to this team.

"I have not talked to him yet, and it's going to be kind of like a consolation prize a little bit for him. He played terrific this week. He didn't lose the PGA, Padraig Harrington went out and won it and Ben played terrific all the way to the end."