ENGLISH girls’ champion Sophie Keech is top class at combining her golf and her school work – and she’s won the England Golf Silver Tee Award to prove it.

The award is made each year to a girl student who develops her golf while also concentrating on her studies.

“I’m really pleased to win the award. It has got 2014 off to a great start,” said Sophie, an England girl international from Parkstone Golf Club.

The 17-year-old is working towards a BTec in sport at Millfield School in Somerset, where she is a boarder.

Delighted Keech said: “I’m on track. The BTec is all coursework so I can balance it with my golf and my teachers at Millfield are so good and so understanding.”

Keech, who has been at Millfield since she was 13 and is the golf captain, will leave school this summer to concentrate on her golfing ambitions.

“I’ve got mixed emotions about it. It will be such a relief to finish all the work, but at the same time I love it so much here,” she added.

“It’s going to be so sad leaving, I think there will be a few tears on the last day.”

Keech plans to play on the women’s amateur circuit for the next two years to gain experience.

Her immediate targets include defending her English girls’ title and winning a British event.

Keech will be building on an impressive golfing CV. In addition to winning the English girls’ championship last year and helping England win the Girls’ Home Internationals, she was also the English schools’ champion for the second time.

Regionally, she was the South West girls’ title-holder and was runner-up in the South West ladies’ championship.

In 2011 she helped Millfield to win the World Schools Championship in South Africa.