Bournemouth EchoYouth sport - golf: Parkstone's Sophie Keech lifts Astor Salver (From Bournemouth Echo)

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Youth sport - golf: Parkstone's Sophie Keech lifts Astor Salver

Bournemouth Echo: WINNER: Parkstone golfer Sophie Keech WINNER: Parkstone golfer Sophie Keech

PARKSTONE’S Sophie Keech won the Astor Salver at The Berkshire after she finished on four-under-par for 36 holes.

The youngster followed in the footsteps of fellow Dorset player Hayley Davis, who lifted the trophy two years ago.

“I knew Hayley had won this and I thought it would be really cool if I could win it too, so I was really pleased,” said 18-year-old Keech.

The English girls’ champion 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.

During the day she drove solidly and holed a number of long putts, 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 an 11-footer for 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,” said Keech.

“I kept saying to myself that I had to keep under and I rolled in the putt.”

Keech was two shots clear of Dulcie Sverdloff (Garon Park, Essex), who also opened with a 69.

In the afternoon, Sverdloff birdied the last two holes of the round for a 74, to finish a stroke ahead of former England champion Kerry Smith (Waterlooville, Hampshire).

Keech 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 and also represented England Golf at the French Lady Junior Championship in April.

Earlier that month, Keech won the amateur prize at another of the top women’s scratch events, the Roehampton Gold Cup.

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