CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---Former Chattanooga Mocs standout Emma de Groot (Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia) will represent her native Australia at the Astor Trophy this week. The team competition begins Wednesday, June 15, and continues through Sunday, June 19.
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.
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.
The Aussies are looking to regain the trophy after Great Britain and Ireland captured the 2007 competition at Royal Johannesburg in South Africa. The Aussies won the previous three in 1995, 1999 and 2003. Great Britain and Ireland have never lost at home.
Fairhaven Golf Club in Lytham, England is hosting the event. 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).
The course 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 completed her Chattanooga eligibility this past May. She, along with fellow senior Christine Wolf (Igls, Austria), were the first four-year recruits signed by head coach Colette Murray when she started the program in 2007-08. The duo is the foundation for four NCAA postseason trips and two Southern Conference Championships. They led the Mocs to 11 team titles in their four years.
de Groot was a four-time All-Southern Conference performer winning 2011 SoCon Golfer of the Year and the 2008 SoCon Freshman of the Year honors during her sterling career. Three times she was picked by Golf World/Golf Digest as a "Player to Watch" and holds a majority of the season and career records for the Mocs
As a student, she had multiple Dean's List and Athletic Director's Honor Roll mentions as she matched her play with a strong academic record. de Groot won six times in recording 20 top fives and 24 top 10s in 45 career events. She counted to team score in 127 of 129 rounds with 32 career par or better rounds, five in the 60s. She won at least once every season
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