Padraig Harrington believes he will push Tiger Woods all the way as the world No 1 chases Jack Nicklaus in the record books.

Woods wants to break the Golden Bear’s record on 18 major wins and Harrington is convinced that their growing rivalry will be good for both of them in the long run.

Believing he can become Tiger’s No 1 rival, Harrington said: "I like to believe I'm a guy who'll make Tiger get better. Maybe Tiger needs someone who can push him at this stage.

"That's always part of the game. If I can get better maybe I can push him along to get better too.

"I think Tiger's playing nicely now, better than he has done, and I suppose if he wins an average of one major a year, he'll do it.

"I do believe he'll get there but that doesn't mean I can't win a few."

Woods claimed the $10m FedExCup bonus when he finished three shots behind a charging Phil Mickelson in the Tour Championship on Sunday.

Harrington tied for fourth behind Mickelson and Woods, racking up his sixth top 10 on the spin and pocketing a cool $1.03m (€703,000).

A battling 69 meant he finished seventh in the FedExCup race, earning a $330,000 (€225,250) tournament cheque and a $700,000 (€477,750) bonus.

But he’s still winless this year and while he moved up one spot to seventh in the latest world rankings and now tops the Europe's Ryder Cup world points list, he dismissed his run of top-10s as a mere statistic.

Harrington said: "To be honest, I don’t count top 10s anymore. I’m only interested in wins."

Challenging Woods regularly is the way forward and while he was outscored by the world No 1 in eight of their nine head-to-head battles this year, he’s not intimidated by the game’s top player.

Harrington explained: "When you're out there on the golf course, he's just another guy. You can't put him up on a pedestal like that. It wouldn't help in that sense.

"I think it's always best to be playing and watching the No 1 guy. It's always nice to be trying to push him.

"The key for me is to make sure I push Tiger to be a better player. That's got to be the key when you're out there.

"I've enjoyed most of the rounds we've played over the last couple of weeks. The way to do it is play your own game, but I've been quite comfortable out there."

Harrington still has a chance to finish his season with a multiple win as he tees it up in this week’s Dunhill Links Championship.

He also has next month’s Portugal Masters as well as the Barclays Singapore Open, the WGC - HSBC Champions and November’s Dubai World Championship.

The money is only secondary but counting Sunday's FedExCup bonus, he's earned a massive $2.9m (€1.97m) since the beginning of August.