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Rory McIlroy confident of a win in PGA Championship Photo by: John Biever/SI

Irish duo drop right out of contention as rookies lead at USPGA in Atlanta

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Rory McIlroy confident of a win in PGA Championship Photo by: John Biever/SI

Ireland won’t be celebrating another Major win on Sunday night – with both Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington keen to look to the future beyond the USPGA Championship.

Both Irish players are well out of the reckoning for the final Major of the season at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

McIlroy scored a 74 in his third round on Saturday to finish on seven over for the tournament, the same total as Harrington after his 75.

The two are out of sight as far as unheralded leaders Brendan Steele and Jason Dufner are concerned, with both Americans on seven under.

McIlroy has shaken off the effects of the wrist injury picked up on Thursday and is now looking forward to a two week break before he resumes playing at the European Open in Switzerland next month.

“I want to try and finish as high up in The Race to Dubai,” McIlroy told www.irishgolfdesk.com as he looked ahead to the rest of his season after putting problems cost him dearly in Atlanta.

“It would be great to win a couple more times because I want to try to end the season well. Even though I won one tournament, which was a major, I still want to win a few more times to call this season a success.”

The 22-year-old US Open champion acknowledged that his putting wasn’t good enough over the first three rounds of the USPGA.

He admitted: “It’s on the greens where I haven’t been good this week. I think I had three three-putts today and three three-putts yesterday and a couple of three-putts on Thursday.

“That’s what I did so well at Congressional.  I didn’t have a three-putt until the 71st hole.  If you want to win these things, you can’t throw away shots like that.”

Harrington had hoped to take his family to the Bahamas for a holiday next week but must now play in the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, to try and secure his qualification for the lucrative FedEx Cup series.

“I was going out today thinking if I played well on the weekend, I wouldn’t have to play next week and go on my holidays,” Harrington told www.irishgolfdesk.com.

“I don’t know where I stand, but the intention was to play good golf this weekend and now I have to go next week. Such is life.  I don’t know where I am.

“The FedEx Cup? I’d obviously like to play in it. And the way it’s designed, you never know, you win the first one, you can win it outright even in the last position.  So yeah, who knows.”

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