Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney will make his Walker Cup debut when he teams up with England's Eamonn "Stiggy" Hodgson in the anchor foursomes match at Merion on Saturday (1300 Irish time) against Cameron Tringale and Adam Mitchell.

The Walker CupThe 21 year old Dubliner is the sole Irishman in a ten-man Great Britain & Ireland squad, made up entirely of rookies, bidding to win the trophy on US soil for the first time since 2001.

GB&I skipper Colin Dalgleish has shown great faith in Kearney by also including him in his eight-strong singles line up on day one. The Dubliner will go out at No 7 in the order, taking on 19 year old Floridian Bud Cauley.

The Associated Press, setting the scene for the matches, reports:

The matches were largely the vision of George Herbert Walker, maternal grandfather of George H.W. Bush, an investment banker and shipping tycoon who was president of the U.S. Golf Association in 1920.

He believed in the power of sport, and especially of golf, to cement Merion Golf Clubfriendships between nations, and so called for an international competition. Only Great Britain was able to field a team for 1922, and the match has remained basically bilateral (always specifically including Ireland) ever since. "For Walker, it wasn't just a casual thing. International tensions were high in those years after World War I, and he saw these matches as important for national security," said Rand Jerris, the USGA's lead historian and director of communications.