Padraig Harrington believes Paul McGinley has "done nothing but improve his chances" of becoming Ryder Cup captain in 2014. 

"If Paul has shown that he's a winning captain, and we are going into that match having not won the Ryder Cup, then we are going to have to put our best man in there – and that could be Paul in that case.

"Sometimes the Ryder Cup captaincy is given to the person who has supported the Tour and deserves it the most and sometimes it is given to the guy who looks best for the job. Paul is putting his hat in both rings now and that's a help for him."

Harrington, who is making just his 11th appearance on European soil in the last two year, was speaking in Scotland on the eve of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The 2002 and 2006 champion is not there to make up the numbers either, insisting that the prospect of making a late charge for the Race to Dubai title is keeping him motivated with just five European Tour events to go before he signs off for the year at Tiger Woods' Chevron World Challenge in LA.

"After the four majors and then the FedEx Cup, it would be very easy for me to have come here feeling tired and disinterested but, with the Race to Dubai, I'm motivated and ready to go," he said.

"This is one of my favourite tournaments of the year and, due to the fact I think the set- up this week really suits me well, is one of my best opportunities of winning an event. As things stand right now, it would be easy for me to look back and say, 'Oh well, I had a productive first seven months of the year without performing on the golf course and then had a reasonable bit of form over the last six weeks'.

"But, when we get into 2010, the only thing that will be looked back on is how many wins I had in 2009, so I've got to try and get some of those in my last half-dozen events in order to make this, in any way, a good year."

"The fact I haven't won so far is keeping me motivated. I have been very diligent with my gym work and things like that which, normally at this stage of the season, you would expect to be tapering off a little bit." 

Harrington has no regrets about what for many would have been a devastating loss of form from February to August. He lost his way with a swing change he would have preferred to have been able to make the off-season but insisted that he would not do things differently if he had the chance.

"It's not as though it was planned," he said. "On this occasion, I dragged the work we were doing well into the season, but I probably learned more in that period of time and, what's more, I also got to the bottom of what was annoying me, namely that I was trying to figure out how to stop cupping my left wrist.

"It was very, very productive. Yes, there were some sacrifices but, looking back, I would definitely think it's been worth it."