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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

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Teen Carlisle golfer on brink of Cumbria call-up

County golf captain Martin Hand is backing Kieran Waters to go from teenage bag-man to star man in his team.

Kieran Waters photo
Kieran Waters

Waters has had a great insight into what it’s like to represent Cumbria by acting as caddie to the captain over the past few years.

But now the 18-year-old Carlisle golfer is on the brink of being handed a place in the team, leaving Hand seeking someone else to carry his clubs.

Waters’ ambition is to play on the European Tour one day but first he wants to become a top county player and prove himself in big national amateur events.

The 6ft 2in Carlisle member, who plays off scratch and is currently full-time at the Lee Westwood Golf School in Cheshire, turned in an eye-catching display during Cumbria’s warm-up game against Lancashire ‘B’ team on Saturday.

Waters won his singles match 4 & 3 under the watchful gaze of the captain, who admitted the teenager is in the frame for a call-up for Cumbria’s opening Northern Counties League match against Durham at Seaton Carew Golf Club on May 12.

Hand said: “Kieran is really blossoming and it is going to be hard not to pick him. He played fantastically well in both the foursomes and the singles in last weekend’s match.

“I watched him closely around the golf course, and was impressed with how he handles himself.

“He’s very professional, very calm and mild-mannered – he’s a cracking lad.

“He used to caddy for me in Scratch League matches and in a couple of county events so he knows what the county scene is all about.

“There is still a lot of golf to play before I pick the team for the opening match. His performance hasn’t rubber-stamped his selection by any means, but he has done himself a lot of favours.”

Being selected for the men’s team would mark another big step forward for one of the stars of the county’s successful junior team.

Waters is the son of former Cumbria golf champion Greg Waters, who made 100 county appearances, while his late grandad Paddy Waters played 252 times for Carlisle United between 1950-57.

His potential saw him win a place at the Lee Westwood Golf School, where he was among the first intake of talented youngsters in 2010 after leaving the city’s Newman School.

Cumbria lost 11-7 to a strong Lancashire ‘B’ team, which included several first-team players, but Hand was heartened by a number of positives to come out of the match at Fleetwood Golf Club.

Among them was the return of Ulverston’s Craig Morrow, who resumed his successful foursomes partnership with Carlisle’s Grant Little after returning home to South Cumbria after a spell working away.

On Sunday Cumbria defeated the South of Scotland 12-6 at Brampton.

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