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Sophie seals second county crowning
SOPHIE Keech was crowned Dorset Ladies’ County champion for the second successive year – successfully defending her title at Came Down Golf Club.
The 16-year-old came out on top in a hard fought matchplay final against Broadstone’s Kyra Horlock, winning by two holes.
It was a pulsating final with both players exhibiting golf of the highest standard in breezy conditions.
Keech raced into a two-hole lead in the early stages before Horlock level- led affairs with two huge putts in the middle holes to threaten her rival’s crown.
The Lyme golfer turned the screw with a magnificent approach to the 17th, which she duly won before securing victory on the last with a difficult 10-foot putt.
After the initial qualifying medal round, Keech faced a tough draw in the knockout stages.
She defeated Dorset ladies’ captain Jane Southcombe by two holes in a hard fought quarter-final before winning two and one against Bridport’s Nicky Stone to set up the final against Horlock.
Keech’s victory and successful defence of her title is a magnificent achievement for the youngster, and a feeling shared proudly by her home golf club at Lyme Regis.
Commenting on her victory, the teenager said: “It was really tough defending my title as there were great expectations on me winning this year.
“Having to overcome three really good players to win was fantastic.”
She went on to thank her caddy Lizzie Linnert, members of Lyme Regis Golf Club for their valuable support, and Millfield School, where coach Karen Nicholls has been a true inspiration.
After the presentation at Came Down, Keech was announced in the Dorset Ladies squad to play in the South West Match Week at Trevose in Corn- wall.