Graeme McDowell celebrates with Padraig Harrington after he sank the winning putt in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. Picture Fran Caffrey/ winners Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell are refusing to hit the panic button despite their slide in the latest world rankings and some recent struggles.

Harrington slithered out of the top 50 for the first time since 23 March 2000 when he fell one place to 51st in the latest world rankings.

McDowell also slipped three places, but only to eighth after the world, after the worst round of his professional career in the Wales Open on Saturday.

But the reigning US Open is refusing to panic about that 81 and believes a few days relaxing in Portrush this week will see him head to the US with his hopes high.

Dismissing his third round 81 at Celtic Manor as a one-off, he said: “I am not disturbed about my game in any shape or form. My game is in good shape, it’s firing on all cylinders.

“Of course, I have work to do between now and Congressional, but Saturday was just a bit of an anomaly. I lost the feel of my swing a little bit.”

Out of action for the past two weeks with hamstring and knee problems, Harrington has fallen 28 places in the rankings this year and 48 places since early 2009, when he was the third best player on the planet.

But he still believes his game is in excellent shape going into the US Open and feels confident he can prove it with a successful return to action in this week’s FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis.

Harrington said: “I don’t want to drop out of the top 50, but what can I do? It’s not through lack of trying and I feel my game’s in great shape. I think I’m in a position to go forward.

“I’m not panicking about dropping out of the top 50 and it’s not in itself a big issue. There’s a big summer ahead and I’m very happy with my game, what I’m doing and where I’m at. I’m doing the right things that will lead to results.”

Rory McIlroy is now the highest ranked Irishman despite falling one spot to seventh this week.