Fay To Captain USA Spirit International Team

Former USGA executive director to lead squad of four national champions

By Spirit International
September 28, 2011

Houston, Texas – Former USGA Executive Director David Fay, who served the Association for more than 30 years, will serve as the USA captain for the 2011 Spirit International.

Fay also knows the value a national champion golfer adds to a team. So it comes as no surprise that all four participants of the 2011 Spirit International USA Team are national champions and elite competitors. 

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

“The 2010-2011 season has been an amazing time for amateur golf,” said 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 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.

The USA Team, captained by former Spirit player and 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer, won The 2009 Spirit International Gold Medal.  The 2009 USA Team members were 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion and 2010 USA Curtis Cup member Alexis Thompson, 2010 USA Curtis Cup member Jennifer Johnson, 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Jordan Spieth and 2009 U.S. Amateur runner-up Ben Martin.

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

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…Was a semifinalist at 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship…Her father is a PGA club professional…She resides in Seneca, S.C.

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 the University of Arkansas…She resides in Burbank, Calif.

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 USA 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 USA Walker Cup Team member (2009, 2011)…Nathan is employed as an investment banker. He resides in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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


Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image