According to Paul McGinley, Padraig Harrington is still a force to be reckoned with at the highest level. Picture Eoin Clarke/www.golffile.iePadraig Harrington is still a dangerous animal and a major threat to the world’s best.

That’s the view of Paul McGinley, who’s convinced that Harrington can bounce back to form after two lean years and challenge for major glory again.

Dismissing Harrington’s two-year downturn as a blip on the graph, McGinley said: “Padraig is always dangerous when the stakes are high and I think he will play well in the majors this year.

“I wouldn’t have any concerns about Padraig at all. Anybody’s career is full of ups and downs and he is no different.

“There are peak periods and low periods and while Padraig is going through a bit of a low period at the moment, he has had peak times in the past and will have more in the future.”

Harrington was ranked third in the world when he captured the 2008 US PGA for his third major win in the space of 13 months.

But while he slipped one place to 35th in the world after missing cut in the Transitions Championship in Florida last week, McGinley is not concerned.

He said: “At the moment I am going through a bit of a downturn. I have good periods in the past and will have good periods in the future and it’s the same for every golfer.

“Professional golf ebbs and flows. Just look at Graeme McDowell. Roll back the clock two years and Graeme was in a valley and Padraig was on a high. That’s just the way pro golf is.

“In my eyes Padraig was the number one player in the world for a six month period in 2008. He might not have been No 1 in the ranking but in terms of play, he was No 1 in my eyes and he will be back.”

Harrington will put the final touches to his Masters preparations when he tees it up in the Shell Houston Open next week.

That means that McDowell is the only Irish player in action at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he is joined by Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.