Graeme McDowell believes Padraig Harrington has the grinding game to get inside Tiger’s head and clinch PGA glory.

Out of sorts with his game, the Ulsterman was enthralled by Harrington’s battle with Woods last weekend and he knows from experience that the Dubliner can become the player to rival Woods for major domination.

“They had a great battle in Akron and I was really disappointed for Padraig after what happened on the 16th,” McDowell said. “You wouldn't fancy too many guys when they are two shots behind Tiger coming down the stretch. But Padraig was always worth a bet.

“Then Tiger hit a career golf shot they way he does and Padraig got unlucky. But Padraig has certainly got the qualities to wear you down.

“I know from experience after losing to him in Germany in 2003. You can outplay the guy and he still outscores you. He gets inside your head.”

McDowell will be playing for a major European title on home soil next year when the Northern Ireland Masters takes place at Lough Erne.

The news has yet to be officially confirmed and McDowell has other fish to fry by Lake Hazeltine when he makes his fifth appearance in the US PGA looking for a big result that will give him momentum going into the autumn schedule.

Having scorched his way into last year’s Ryder Cup team by winning twice, the Portrush man is bitterly disappointed that he has failed to put a big result on the board this year.

He said: “In general I am happy with how I am progressing as a player but this year I have been running around too much without really achieving much.

“I am playing against the best players all the time but the top 10s become top 20s against better players and I have played better this year than the results have shown.

“I am excited about the end of the season from September onwards and working towards the start of Ryder Cup qualifying, the Race to Dubai and the World Cup with Rory (McIlroy). I am really up for it. I have gotten over the frustrations and disappointments of the season and I am ready to go.”

His chances of winning the US PGA will rest on his ability to plot a course around a 7,674 yard track that looks perfect for a big hitter like Woods.

But despite losing his feel last week in Akron, he still believes he has a chance of contending for his first major this week.

“My game plan is to go out and not try to thrash it,” he said. “Play within yourself, hit the fairways. They are wide targets so trust yourself to play the course from the middle of the fairway.

“The rough is fair and not unplayable. If you hit it 320 yards and straight out there, it is a good advantage. But if you play smart on this golf course you are going to have a wedge or a short iron in you hard seven eight or nine times.”

McDowell reckons the course is too much like a regular PGA Tour stop to prevent Woods from winning his 15th major, despite the fact that the world’s best player hits the occasional poor shot.

“We all saw what happened at Turnberry and the crazy thing for me is that Tiger is not actually on his game. He is hitting some god-awful looking golf shots but he looked awesome on Sunday.

“You don’t normally get away those shots in Majors but you can get away with them here. No disrespect to this golf course, but it is more like a tour event. They have gone for length rather than tricking it up. Rather than Tiger proofed it is Tiger unproofed.

“I’d love to go against him. If I have a chance to win on Sunday and he is the man standing beside me, I’ve going to believe I can beat him."

With a glint in his eye, he added: “I just hopes he wins his 19th major and leaves...... soon.”