Top of the class finish
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
WINNING a State championship is a big deal in anyone's vernacular, no matter what the sport or at what level.
So when John Paul College student Emma de Groot returned home this week after winning the NSW All schools championship, it was surprising to find that picking up a State title wasn't her main goal at the event.
"All I wanted to do was make the top six because for the NSW All schools team they pick six girls, so if you just make the top six at least your name's there," she said.
"Winning it was a bonus on top of that."
The victory in the two-day event at Windsor Golf Club in Sydney was set up on the opening day when de Groot streeted the field by putting a low number on the leaderboard.
"On the first day I played good and had a two under," the 17-year-old said.
"The second day wasn't as good but it didn't really matter because I'd already played good enough on the first day to make the top six."
Currently ranked second among the State's under 18 amateur golfers and ninth overall, de Groot is living like a Leyland brother at the moment as she travels all over the countryside for tournaments on top of going to Sydney most weekends to play pennant golf.
Next week de Groot collects more frequent flyer points as she travels to Western Australia for the Australian Amateur Championships, playing at the Lake Karrinyup course which was home to the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2002 and 2003.
"I've never really competed against all the best in Australia so I don't know how I'll go," she said.
"You play strokeplay for the first two days and the top 32 go on to play matchplay and the winner's decided by that so if I can just make the top 32 then I'm not too bad at matchplay.
"I could have 100 and a 100 the first two days but if I finish 32nd then who cares what I had because I made it through but I'd rather have two good scores."