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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Carlisle golfer Chris Thursby eyeing Cumbria team slot

Teenage Carlisle golfer Chris Thursby hopes to take a step closer to fulfilling his dream of a professional career by forcing his way into the county men’s team this year.

Chris Thursby photo
Chris Thursby

Thursby is one of the stars is Cumbria’s impressive Under-18 team and was handed a step up to the men’s team for their final Northern Counties League match of the season against Northumberland last year.

The 17-year-old will tomorrow join top county players like John Longcake, Will Bowe and Geoff Nixon for a practice match at Appleby Golf Club in one of captain Martin Hand’s regular winter get-togethers.

Thursby, a scratch golfer, is hoping for his big chance to shine in the men’s team this season as the experience will boost his chances of playing for England and stand him in great stead for a big year which will see him play in some of the biggest competitions in junior golf – the Fairhaven Trophy and the Carris Trophy.

The youngster hopes to one day pursue a professional career and play on the European Tour. He said: “I hope I can step up to the men’s county team and hopefully do well ins one big national events. There is a big incentive to get my handicap down and do well in national events as I would love to be picked for England.

“All the best young players from England will be at the big under-18 events, so that would be a great test for me.

“By the end of the year I’ll be 18 so if I continue playing and practising I’ll see where I am and then maybe see about Tour School at some point in the future.

“I’m hoping to get some more game for the men’s team this year as it is all part of the learning process.

“It was great getting a game last year and, even though I lost my singles and foursomes matches, I was unlucky to lose and it was great experience.”

Thursby underlined his potential with a hugely impressive summer last year when he helped Cumbria under-18s reach the England County Boys Championships at Berwick for the first time in their 50-year history.

The youngster, who plays at Carlisle Golf Club stole the show at the England County Boys Championships qualifier at Furness in July when he won the John Todd Trophy for winning the 36-hole individual competition with his five-under-par score of 137. Past winners of the trophy include Cumbria’s former European Tour player Gary Lockerbie and Euro Pro Tour player Peter Richardson.

Thursby’s opening round of 65 was the best of the day and it equalled the Furness course record and cut his handicap to one.

He is now preparing for a big year with the under-18s as he is still eligible to play for them.

He said: “We did well last year winning the EGU Northern Counties Championship for the first time and there is lots for us to aim for this year. We hope to win the Northern Federation league and do well in the Northern Federation Championship, as well as retain the EGU Northern Counties Championship.”

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