McIlroy can deliver goods

By Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy is determined to whip the crowd into a frenzy and inspire his GB&I team mates to singles glory this afternoon.

Skipper Colin Dalgleish has put the Holywood hotshot out first after lunch so that the roars of the 10,000 crowd will inspire the rest of the team.

Dalgleish said: "I thought it was appropriate to recognise Rory's role in this Walker Cup and have him out first on the first day in the singles.

"If the roars are going in the right direction then I think everyone draws inspiration from that."

McIlroy will go head-to-head with Billy Horschel determined not to fail his captain against the player who shot an 11 under par 60 in the US Amateur last year.

McIlroy said: "If that's what I'm there for then I'm going to do my best to deliver. If I can get the crowd going then the team will just feed off that.

"I am playing well and I made seven birdies out there today. Billy is a good player and I am sure he will be a tough test. But I know this track very well, so I am quietly confident.

"If he makes a lot of birdies I will just have to up my game and make a lot of birdies as well."

McIlroy raised the Irish tricolour at the opening ceremony and confessed that the excitement of the Walker Cup has already exceeded his expectations.

He said: "There was a real buzz at the opening ceremony tonight and everyone is looking forward to the few days ahead.

"It has been everything I imagined it would be and more. I was quite scared about raising the Irish flag and getting it wrong.

"But the realisation that you are going to be playing in the Walker Cup is fantastic. It is just going to be electric tomorrow."