The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club recently announced that LPGA marquee player Stacy Lewis will captain the USA Team. The Spirit International, which will be played Nov. 7-9 at Whispering Pines, features teams representing 20 countries and showcases the world’s best women and men amateur golfers.
The Spirit International is an Olympic-like experience that includes an opening ceremony, festive dinner parties and a closing ceremony. Camp Olympia, one of the premier summer camps in the U.S., provides International Village accommodations for the competitors. Established in 2001 at Whispering Pines, The Spirit International is a biennial event that is played in alternate years with the World Amateur Team Championships.
Lewis, a decorated amateur who joined the LPGA Tour in 2008, has a distinguished professional career with 12 tour wins, including two major titles. The Houston resident returned to play in the first LPGA event of the year following the birth of her daughter Chesnee last October. She finished in sixth place after a five-month break from competitive golf. Lewis currently ranks ninth on the LPGA’s career money list and sixth among active players.
Lewis also was invited by Whispering Pines Golf Club’s founder Corby Robertson, Jr. to serve as an ambassador for the inaugural Spirit Charity Challenge that will be played at the club on Oct. 7. Some of The Spirit International’s top alumni will return to compete in this special event that will award the winner a prize of $100,000 to donate to the charity of their choice. The charity tournament should generate excitement for the November Championship and will be a festive reunion for Spirit International alumni.
“We are proud of the success we’ve had to date in bringing the world’s top women and men to compete for their countries at the No. 1-rated golf course in Texas,” said Robertson. “Our commitment is to promote global goodwill through the game of golf.”
Eighty players from 20 countries and six continents compete for gold medals in the 54-hole Spirit International. Each country is represented by its two best women and two best men. Previous Spirit International competitors who now are professionals on the LPGA and PGA Tour include Jordan Spieth, Francesco Molinari, Brandt Snedeker, Jason Day, Martin Kaymer, Lexi Thompson, Charley Hull, Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer and Brooke Henderson.
The Spirit Golf Association, a non-profit charity dedicated to the promotion of amateur golf for the benefit of health-related causes, organizes and oversees the tournament along with the Texas Golf Association.
The Spirit Golf Association has contributed more than $12 million to its charitable activities: The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship and healthcare service providers such as Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinics, Medical Bridges and The Immunization Partnership. In 2017, The Spirit Golf Association responded to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by directing funds to Harvey victims through the United Way, Houston Food Bank, KIPP, Yellowstone Academy and the Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinics.
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