England girl international Sophie Keech won the Astor Salver at The Berkshire with a four-under par total for the 36 holes.
She follows in the footsteps of a fellow Dorset player – the England international Hayley Davis, who won this trophy two years ago.
“I knew Hayley had won this and I thought it would be really cool if I could win too, so I was really pleased,” said Sophie, from Parkstone. Earlier in the season she won the amateur prize at another of the top women’s scratch events – the Roehampton Gold Cup.
At The Berkshire, Sophie opened her account with a three-under 69 on the Blue course, which included 13 straight pars followed by four birdies and a solitary bogey on the 16th.
She signed off with a one-under 72 on the Red course, which included an eagle three on the 15th, which took her score under par.
During the day she drove well and holed a number of long putts to make her score – but she took the greatest pleasure in her par five on the 17th on the Red course.
Her second shot finished in a divot, below her feet, and she could only knock the ball forward and eventually had to hole a 11-footer for her par. “I’d just got under par with my eagle and I had it in my mind that I’d need to be under par,” she said. “I kept saying to myself that I had to keep under and I rolled in the putt!”
Sophie was two shots clear of Dulcie Sverdloff (Garon Park, Essex), who also opened with a 69. In the afternoon, Dulcie birdied the last two holes of the round for a 74 to finish a stroke ahead of former England champion, Kerry Smith (Waterlooville, Hampshire).
Sophie won the English girls’ championship last summer, as well as the English schools' and South West girls’ titles. She was a member of England’s winning team at the Girls’ Home Internationals. This year she received England Golf’s Silver Tee award for the way she combines her golf and her studies and represented England Golf at the French Lady Junior Championship.
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