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Harrington confident of bouncing back up rankings

Padraig Harrington dropped out of the world's top 50 yesterday, but the Dubliner could bounce straight back in again after the FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis this weekend.

Harrington, who had not been outside the top 50 since March 26, 2000, has shaken off the knee injury which forced him out of the BMW PGA at Wentworth and is "excited" by the prospect of getting his stop-start 2011 season back on track at TPC Southwind on Thursday.

"I've had a strange year. I've had a few weeks written off. I've had a few good, decent performances, where things were looking good, and a couple of missed cuts out of nowhere," said Harrington -- who is in 51st place in the current rankings.

"But I'm excited about my game and I'm keen to get out and play," added the Dubliner.

Should Lee Westwood hold onto the St Jude Classic title he won last June, he will leap ahead of Luke Donald into No 1. Vijay Singh needs a top-two finish in Memphis to extend his record of 67 successive Majors after skipping sectional qualifying yesterday.

Rory McIlroy's US Open hopes were boosted by a first-class putting performance at The Memorial, where a final-round 68 lifted him into fifth on 11-under, five behind winner and new world No 4 Steve Stricker.

McIlroy, who flew to Haiti yesterday for a two-day field trip as an ambassador for UNICEF, fell to world No 7, while Graeme McDowell tumbled three rungs to No 8.

Tiger Woods is down to 15.

Irish Independent