Padraig Harrington believes he has the game to win a fourth major at Augusta on Sunday – after stealing Rory McIlroy’s Irish thunder.

The former British and US Open champion was given little chance of winning a green jacket in the build-up to the 2012 Masters.

But now, five shots off the lead on four under par, Harrington is in there with a fighting chance while McIlroy and Tiger Woods are out of the frame.

Asked by reporters if he can win another major and a first Masters title after a third round 68 – that included four consecutive birdies from the 13th - Harrington was positive.

“Of course I can do it again. Even with the leader on nine under, four under is in a great position,” he insisted.

“I’ll need another big day tomorrow but the good news is that I had to do something today and I did it. It gives me a chance tomorrow.

“It was very nice for me out there on Saturday. I hung in there well for the first 10 holes, made a bit of a slip up on the 11th and then finished nicely.

“I had chances on the 12th and 17th and birdied the other five. It’s the kind of finish you would like to have on a Sunday.

“It’s nice to do it on a Saturday because it keeps me in the tournament but you would certainly pay a lot of money for it tomorrow.”

Dubliner Harrington last won a major with his USPGA triumph in 2008 but insists he is ready to meet the challenge again.

Five shots off Swedish leader Peter Hanson and four behind Phil Mickelson, he added: “I’m a different player than I was then.  I think a better player.

“I’ve been happy with my game for a while now and haven’t been putting well but this week I’ve turned it around nicely.

“I can certainly go low in majors and I’ve proved that in the past. I’ve been working hard on the greens and hopefully it will show up well tomorrow and we can have a good run at this.

“If I get in the hunt I know I can make good things happen for me. I know what it takes. I will be going for a more relaxed attitude tomorrow and see what happens.

“I’ve won three majors already and any majors I win going forward are bonus majors.”

The Irishman, now 40, also told his press conference that he is hungry for more major wins.

He said: “You’re desperate to win another one.  Over the years I’ve talked to major winners, and it’s amazing how much they want the next one.

“So to be honest, the way I’m going to do it is just play my game and not want it so much, not be so desperate or anything like that, just know that it’s going to happen.”