Golfing legend Christy O’Connor Snr has told Niall Kearney to rely on his inner strength to spank the Yanks and bring home the Walker Cup.

The Galway maestro, 84, has befriended the young Royal Dublin starlet over the last few years. And after racking up an amazing 10 successive Ryder Cup appearances, the grand old man of Irish golf is the ideal adviser to Ireland’s lone Walker Cup representative in Pennsylvania this weekend.

O’Connor said: “Niall is a great lad, a friend, and I hope he does well. He's confident and confidence is a magnificent thing. But it is no use just being confident. You have to believe in yourself.

“People will tell you that you are great and this and that. But you have got to stand on your own feet and believe in what you are doing.”

Prodding himself in the chest, O’Connor added: “It’s in here that counts as much as the golf swing and Niall’s tough. It is very important that he believes in himself.

“I have given him my message: Good luck, play well and play the course. Don’t mind who you are playing. If you play well and you are beaten, smile, be happy.”

The club pro at Royal Dublin for the past 50 years, O’Connor has seen Kearney come through the ranks and emerge as one of Europe's top amateurs.

Ireland's most prolific winner won’t be making the trip to Merion to see his fellow Royal Dublin man help Great Britain and Ireland win back the Walker Cup they lost in a thriller at Royal County Down two years ago.

But Kearney, 21, will have plenty of support from the Royal Dublin faithful, including club professional Leonard Owens, when he becomes the 34th Irishman to earn Walker Cup honours.

The Dubliner got his first taste of American golf this week when he played two rounds with the squad at the world’s best course, Pine Valley.

And he insists that all 10 members of the GB&I team are playing well enough to triumph on one of America’s top venues.

Buzzing with excitement, Kearney said: “Everybody is confident and everybody is playing well. The course is fantastic too and the greens are going to be running up to 13 on the stimp, so that is fast. Nobody will have played on greens that fast, not even the Americans.

“It is not overly long and it is all about hitting it straight and chipping and putting well, getting the ball up and down around the greens.”

The controversial non-selection of a second Irish player means the 10 man team features seven Englishmen and two Scots, leaving Kearney without a natural foursomes partner.

But he doesn’t mind how many games he plays as long as the British and Irish side brings home the trophy.

He said: “It would have been great to have another Irish guy on the team but I get on great with all the other lads. There are loads of options for the skipper when it comes to making pairings for the foursomes but nothing has been decided yet.

“I am just happy to be here. I have no idea how many matches I will play. I just want to get as many as I can and win as many points as I can for the team so we can bring the Walker Cup home.

“It is a great honour for me to be here and I am going to take advantage of it and enjoy every minute of the experience.”

Two weeks after the Walker Cup, Kearney will head to the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.

He said: “I will go to the Q-School as an amateur and see how it goes. It all depends on whether or not I can get a ranking because there is no point in turning pro and having nowhere to play.

“If I do any way decently it could be an opportunity to turn pro. If not I will stay amateur.”