Pádraig Harrington is facing a FedEx Cup and World Cup shut out but he remains convinced the putts will start dropping soon.
The Dubliner missed the cut in the US PGA and now needs a top 25 finish in the Wyndham Championship this week just to make the Top 125 who qualify for the first FedEx Cup event, The Barclays at Liberty National in New Jersey.
He’s also fallen to world No 82 and with Shane Lowry up to 80th, he could miss the chance to join Graeme McDowell at the World Cup in December.
Still struggling on the greens and especially with his chipping, Harrington said: “I know it has been all year but I am sure the putts are going to drop at some stage.
“You always play to win but I’d take a top 25 finish in the Wyndham Championship right now and take my chances at The Barclays.”
Harrington’s tour card is safe as he is inside the top 125 in the money list. But he is under pressure now to pull off a big result or face a massive uphill battle to return to the world’s top 50 and smooth the path to Ryder Cup qualification at Gleneagles next year, not to mention the 2014 Masters and the US Open.
As for McDowell, he finished 12th in the US PGA but moved up to second in the Race to Dubai - €425,573 behind Swede Henrik Stenson - and set his sights on becoming European No 1.
Planning to get married next month, he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy by being crowned king of Europe.
After pocketing € 100,686 at Oak Hill, G-Mac said: “I’d love to win the Race to Dubai and this is a step in the right direction and puts little more money in bank.
“Henrik is up there now but I will go into the two events in China and tee it up for the first time as a married man with a great chance to win the Race to Dubai, which is certainly on my bucket list.”
McDowell was one of the most consistent performers in the major last season - 12th in the Masters, T2 US Open, T5 The Open and T11 in the US PGA.
But while he has won three tournaments already this season, he admits that his performances in the majors this season have been disappointing.
After missing the cut in the Masters and the US Open, he was tied 58th in The Open before rallying to joitn 12th in the US PGA thanks to that eight-birdie 66 on Sunday.
“Disappointing year in the majors but it is difficult to prime and come and perform at these,” he said on Sunday evening at Oak Hill. “They are such a tough test. I had a disappointing Masters and US Open, sometimes you are over-prepared and put a little too much expectation on yourself and when you do let that pressure valve release, you play a little better a week or two week after.
“Great leaderboard this week and they are the toughest test. Great season last year in the majors, tough one this year but I wouldn’t swap this year for last year. I have enjoyed it this year. Been a lot of fun.
“I’d give myself a C+ in my major career. Lot of room for improvement. I am getting better all the time. Learning from my experiences. I certainly have a huge amount of belief in myself that I can win at least one more of these, maybe more.”
His ambition show sno signs of waning and he knows that his 2013 experiences will stand to him.
“Really just continue learning,” he said of his plans. “It is just a process. I will look back at the end of the year as a disappointing major championship year but I will learn from the mistakes I made this year and I won’t make those mistakes again.”
Padraig Harrington believes McDowell is one of the few players to have improved their game in the wake of a major win. Most others, Harrington believes, become weighed down by expectations.
McDowell took months to find his feet after his US Open win at Pebble Beach in 2010 but now feels comfortable in his skin.
“That’s a nice compliment, coming from a three time major champion,” said the world No 9, who hasn’t been leapfrogged in the rankings by PGA winner Jason Dufner.
“It’s hard. The golf ball doesn’t know how many majors you have won. It is still difficult game, expectations levels from within are the killer and it doesn’t matter what the fans think or what you guys think or what they say on TV.
“It is the pressure from within that’s the killer and I’ve learned from that and managed to deal with it.”