2011 Spirit international USA Team Loaded with National Champions

October 13th 2011 -
For Immediate Release The Spirit Golf Association

(P) 281-298-2610
(F) 281-298-7794
efredricksen@spiritgolf.org

2011 Spirit International USA Team Loaded with National Champions

HOUSTON, Texas—2011 Spirit International USA Team Captain, David Fay, who served as USGA Executive Director for over 20 years knows the value a National Champion golfer adds to a team. It comes as no surprise, then, that all four participants of the 2011 Spirit International USA Team are National Champions and top golf competitors.

Fay and USA assistant captain, Alli Jarrett, announced the 2011 Spirit International USA Team today. Austin Ernst, sophomore at Louisiana State University, Emily Tubert, sophomore at Arkansas University, Kelly Kraft, senior at Southern Methodist University and Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh, Pa. will represent the United States at The 2011 Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship, November 2 – 5, at Whispering Pines Golf Club.

“The 2010-2011 season has been an amazing time for amateur golf,” says Fay. “With several amateurs winning professional events, the biggest challenge in the selection process was the number of worthy candidates. Alli and I are confident this group of competitors will proudly and deftly defend the Gold Medal at The 2011 Spirit International.”

The USA Team, captained by former Spirit player and current LPGA sensation Paula Creamer, won The 2009 Spirit International Gold Medal. 2009 USA Team members were Alexis Thompson, Jennifer Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Ben Martin.

“You take a look at that 2009 team and you certainly see the next generation of stars on the professional tours,” says Fay.

Past Spirit Alumni include Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer, Alexis Thompson, Yani Tseng, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel, Jason Day, Francesco and Edoardo Molinari and Brandt Snedeker.

2011 Spirit International USA Team Loaded with National Champions (cont’d)

Austin Ernst, 19 – 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Champion. 2011 First Team All-American and two-time AJGA Rolex Junior All-American. She is currently sophomore at Louisiana State University. Austin was Semi-Finalist at 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Her father is a PGA Club Professional. She resides in Seneca, South Carolina.

Emily Tubert, 19 – 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Champion. 2011 All-American and All-SEC Conference honors. 2011 SEC Conference Freshman of the year. 2011 NCGA All-Scholar Team. Three time AJGA Rolex junior All-American. Emily is currently sophomore at Arkansas University. She resides in Burbank, California.

Kelly Kraft, 22 – 2011 U.S. Amateur Champion. 2011 Trans-Mississippi Champion. 2011 and 2009 Texas Amateur Champion. Three time First Team All-Conference USA honors. Kelly represented the United States at the 2011 Walker Cup Match. He is currently completing his degree at Southern Methodist University and resides in Dallas, Texas.

Nathan Smith, 33 – 2003, 2009 and 2010 U.S. Mid – Amateur Champion. Recently lost in semi-finals of U.S. Mid –Am in attempt to become first player to win four U.S. Mid-Am titles. 2011 Sunnehanna Amateur Champion. Three-time Pennsylvania State Amateur Champion. Two-time Walker Cup- USA Team member (2009, 2011). Nathan is employed as an investment banker. He resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The 2011 Spirit International features 80 participants from 20 countries representing six continents. Country teams are comprised of national amateur champions and top ranked players. The format of play for the competition is Four-Ball Stroke Play. The men’s and women’s Four-Ball score is combined for the International Team competition. There is also a separate men’s and women’s team competition.

The host course for The Spirit International is Whispering Pines Golf Club, located 80 miles north of Houston, in Trinity, Texas. Whispering Pines has been ranked the #1 course in Texas every year since 2006 by the Dallas Morning News. Most recently Golf Magazine and Golfweek ranked Whispering Pines in America’s Top 100 Courses. Visit www.whisperingpinesgolfclub.com for more information.

The Spirit Golf Association, a 501© (3) charitable organization, is responsible for the Whispering Pines membership program and tournament management of The Spirit International. The Texas Golf Association is the governing association for The Spirit International competition.

For more information on The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship, please contact Tournament Director Eric Fredricksen at 281-298-2664 or efredricksen@spiritgolf.org. The official website for The Spirit International is www.thespiritgolf.com.