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 annually to a girl who develops her golf while also concentrating on her studies, and the Lyme Regis youngster’s success in the Silver Tee was announced at the annual meeting of England Golf.

“I’m really pleased to win this award, it gets 2014 off to a great start,” said Keech, an England girl international, who plays at Parkstone Golf Club.

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

She 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 and will concentrate on her golfing ambitions.

She added: “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.

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

She plans to play on the women’s amateur circuit for the next two years to gain experience – “All I want to do is play golf,” she said.

Her immediate targets include successfully 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.