Defending champ Padraig Harrington in action during practice day two at Turnberry Golf ClubEMPICS Sport

Padraig Harrington played himself back into contention at the USPGA Saturday after shooting a three under par 69 to lie in a tie for second place, two shots behind Tiger Woods going into Sunday’s final round.

The Irishman would be in the final pairing with Woods on Sunday had he not made his only bogey of the day on the 18th hole.

Harrington’s putter came to life during the third round, and he made several clutch putts for birdies and pars over the course of his day.

After an uncertain start, the 37-year-old got things going with consecutive birdies on holes 7 and 8 and also picked up shots on 11 and 14.

An overhit 8 iron at the last put Harrington in the rough off the back of the green and his chip back ran through to the edge of the green. Harrington was unable to make par and missed out on a second consecutive Sunday final pairing with Woods.

“I got a flyer out of the semi-rough and it was a disappointing way to finish,” Harrington told CBS about his bogey on the last.

“You are better off with Tiger than being one ahead of him,” Harrington replied when asked if he would prefer to be playing with Woods on Sunday. “I will be better off playing my own game and see how that does,’’ continued the Irishman.

Woods had a frustrating day by his standards, and shot a one under par 71. He will be playing the final round on Sunday with Y.E. Yang, who shot a five under par 67 to end up six under par for the tournament.  

Though Yang is tied with Harrington, he was first to enter the clubhouse on that score and by virtue of that will play in the final pairing.

Henrik Stenson and Lucas Glover are tied for fourth place on four under par, and Ernie Els and Soren Kjeldsen are in a tie for sixth place on three under par.

Rory McIlroy was up to three under par during his round, but two bogeys on the back nine saw him end the day with a one under par 71 to go one under par for the tournament in a tie for 13th place.

Graeme McDowell shot a one under par 71 end up level par for the tournament and is in a tie for 18th place.