September 21st 2015
—U.S. Team Captain Rob Addington and Assistant Captain Alli Jarrett on Monday announced their team member selections for The Spirit International. The 2015 U.S. Team includes Hannah O’Sullivan of Chandler, Ariz.; Mariel Galdiano of Honolulu, Hawaii; Phillip Barbaree of Shreveport, La.; and Will Zalatoris of Plano, Texas. The talented foursome, along with Addington and Jarrett, will represent the U.S. at The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship, a biennial amateur team event to be played Oct. 10-14 at Whispering Pines Golf Club.
In 2013, the U.S. Team won the gold medal in the coveted International Team competition for the third consecutive time. To keep the streak alive, Addington knew he needed to start at the top of the national amateur golf rankings when he and Jarrett began the player selection process.
“Anytime you are defending an International Team Championship title, you better assemble a team of players who have proven themselves at the highest levels,” Addington said. “Fortunately, each of the invited U.S. Team members has won a National Championship. So the 2015 team is a true powerhouse.”
The U.S. Team has enjoyed tremendous success during recent Spirit Internationals. In 2009, former Spirit International player and LPGA sensation Paula Creamer captained U.S. Team members Alexis Thompson, Jennifer Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Ben Martin to the gold. That effort was followed by another gold medal in the International Team competition in 2011. Former USGA Executive Director David B. Fay, captained U.S. Team members Austin Ernst, Emily Tubert, Kelly Kraft and Nathan Smith to the title.
At the 2013 Spirit International, the U.S. Team was captained by another former Spirit International player and LPGA star: Paige MacKenzie. She led Ashlyn Ramsey, Ally McDonald, Jordan Niebrugge and Scottie Scheffler to the top of the leaderboard in a closely contested 54-hole event that gave the U.S. team its third straight victory in the International Team competition.
Since its inception in 2001, The Spirit International has become recognized within the international amateur golf community as a prestigious golf event that showcases the best amateur players from around the world. Almost all of the 80 participants – 40 women, 40 men – have earned National Championships in their home countries.
Four National Champions Comprise U.S. Team
Hannah O’Sullivan, 17
– 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion…Currently ranked second in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings…Won 2015 LPGA Symetra Tour Gateway Classic…Won her first AJGA event and qualified for U.S. Women’s Amateur at age 12…Member of the 2015 Junior Solhiem Cup Team…Verbally committed to attend University of Southern California in 2016.
Mariel Galdiano, 17
– 2015 Canadian Women’s Amateur Champion…Currently ranked 12th in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings…Three-time Hawaiian High School Athletic Association Champion…2013 Callaway Junior Girls World Champion...Member of the 2015 Junior Solhiem Cup Team…Verbally committed to attend UCLA in 2016.
Phillip Barbaree, 17
– 2015 U.S Junior Amateur Champion…Won the AJGA’s 2015 Rolex Tournament of Champions. Runner-up at 2015 Trans-Miss Championship…2014 Louisiana Junior Amateur Champion…Ranked in the top 25 in Men’s World Amateur Golf Rankings…Verbally committed to attend Louisiana State University in 2017.
Will Zalatoris, 19
– 2014 U.S Junior Amateur Champion…Sophomore at Wake Forest University…2015 All-ACC Team, ACC Freshman of the Year and Ping All-Freshman Team…2014 Texas Amateur Champion, 2014 Trans-Miss Champion…Two-time TAPPS State Tournament Champion…2013 Antiqua National High School Champion.
The Spirit International features 80 participants from 20 countries, representing six continents. Each country’s team is 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 No. 1 course in Texas from 2006-14 by The Dallas Morning News
and is ranked by Golf Digest
, Golf Magazine
as a Top 100 Course in America. For more information visit www.whisperingpinesgolfclub.com.
The Spirit Golf Association, a 501 (c)(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The official website for The Spirit International is www.thespiritgolf.com.
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