CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- Departing Chattanooga senior Emma de Groot (Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia) has a busy summer ahead beginning by representing her homeland at the Astor Trophy. She and four others will attempt to regain the trophy for Australia.
"I'm excited," said de Groot, the 2011 Southern Conference Golfer of the Year. "This will be my first chance to represent Australia. I've never played links-style golf so it will be interesting. Hopefully we can take care of things and bring the trophy back home."
The Astor Trophy is June 15-19 at Fairhaven Golf Club in Lytham, England. Fairhaven dates back to 1895. Its current links layout, opening in 1924, was designed by J.H. Steer and James Braid with various updates in 1931 (Steer), 1977 (Dave Thomas) and 2003 (Donald Steel).
Fairhaven is famous for its 122 bunkers over the 18-hole tract. That's nearly seven per hole. It is also well-known for an abundance of wildlife, particularly various breeds of pheasant which strut about the course.
de Groot is joined on the team by Ashley Ona (Queensland), Breanna Elliott (Victoria), Cathleen Santoso (New South Wales) and Minjee Lee (Western Australia). The team manager is Matt Cutler, while the coach is former LPGA touring pro Shani Waugh.
At No. 65 in the R&A World Amateur Golf Rankings, de Groot is second only to Lee (48) on the squad. They are followed by Elliott (79), Ona (85) and Santoso (193). The five are also slated to compete at the British Ladies Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club June 7-11 in Northern Ireland.
The Astor Trophy was first played in 1959 and is formerly known as the Commonwealth Tournament. It is held every four years and features teams from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
The squads are made up of five players plus a non-playing captain. The competition includes two foursomes and five single matches each of the five days. Great Britain and Ireland captured the 2007 Astor Trophy at Royal Johannesburg in South Africa. The Aussies won the previous three trophies. Great Britain and Ireland have never lost at home.GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs. Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.