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Keech makes bid for Ireland glory
SOPHIE Keech of Lyme Regis Golf Club has returned from a hectic schedule of prestigious tournaments in the UK with considerable success.
In between the British Girls’ Amateur Championships and North Of England Under-16s, Keech was invited as a Faldo Series finalist with two other girls to play in the Ladies’ British Master Pro-Am at The Bucking-hamshire Golf Club, Denham.
This is a competition that featured some celebrities teaming up with the lady professionals. The Pro-Am event was the day after the final round of the Ladies’ British Masters with the likes of Laura Davies and top European Tour players competing. Keech and the girls teamed up with tournament third and England rising star, Henni Zuel. The quality of play from all four players was outstanding with each bagging three birdies each.
The British Girls’ Amateur Championships, held at Tenby Golf Club, is one of the main events on the circuit. A field of 144 top golfers representing countries from all over the world was whittled down to 64 after two rounds of stroke play.
Keech qualified in a creditable joint 53rd and played superbly in what can only be described as atrocious conditions. The tournament then entered its matchplay phase.
Keech defied the seeding of her draw and upset eighth-placed Elodie Van Dievoet from Belg-ium by one hole in round one to reach the last 32. However, after a gutsy and battling performance she went down 3&2 to Germany’s rising star, Karolin Lampert, in the second round.
Although disappointed to lose, Lampert is the top ranked German lady amateur (not just girl amateur) and is currently ranked 33 in the world.
The result overall gave the Lyme star momentum going into the North Of England Under-16 Championships at Pannal Golf Club in Yorkshire where she put together her best sequence of rounds this year. After the first two rounds, Keech carded a par 74 with an eagle on a par five and a superb five under with back-to-back-chips to score 69 to qualify for the final two rounds in second place and one shot off the lead.
This meant she was paired with tournament leader Gabby Cow-ley going into the final two rounds. A final round of 71 ended with two birdies for Keech and gave her an incredible eight under par total of 288, six shots clear of third and a worthy second place.
Keech now prepares for her next big event, the Faldo Series Under-16 Girls’ Final, held at the Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland this month.
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