Far Hills, N.J. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced the selection of three players to represent the USA at the 2012 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship, to be played Sept. 27-30 at Gloria Golf Club (Old and New Courses) in Antalya, Turkey.
The players are: Austin Ernst, 20, of Seneca, S.C.; Erynne Lee, 19, of Silverdale, Wash.; and Lisa McCloskey, 21, of Houston.
Carol Semple Thompson, of Sewickley, Pa., a seven-time USGA champion and a five-time Women’s World Amateur Team competitor, will serve as captain of the USA Women’s Team.
“These young women are tremendously talented and are to be congratulated on this honor,” said Semple Thompson. “I am thrilled to be their captain, and we all look forward to representing the USA in Turkey.”
Ernst, who represented the USA at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, won the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship individual title as a freshman at Louisiana State University. She won the 2012 North & South Women’s Amateur and made the cut at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship. Ernst advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Lee is a rising sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles. During her freshman season, she won the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate and earned National Golf Coaches Association Freshman of the Year and All-America First Team honors. She reached the semifinals of the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the quarterfinals in 2010-12, and has competed in two U.S. Women’s Opens.
McCloskey, who also represented the USA at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, was the runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. She qualified for the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Women’s Opens, and made the cut in 2010. During her senior season at the University of Southern California, McCloskey tied for first at the 2012 NCAA Central Regional and was named to the NGCA All-America First Team.
The alternates are, in order of ranking: Amy Anderson, 20, of Oxbow, N.D.; and Emily Tubert, 20, of Burbank, Calif.
A record 56 teams have entered the 2012 Women's World Amateur Team Championship. The biennial competition has been played since 1964, with the winner taking home the Espirito Santo Trophy. Korea won the 2010 title in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where it set the championship record for lowest team score with a 30-under 546, finishing 17 strokes ahead of the runner-up, the USA. The USA last won the championship in 1998, and has captured the trophy a record 13 times.
The World Amateur Team title is determined by four days of stroke play. A country may field a team of two or three players. In each round, the total of the two lowest scores constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day total is the team's score for the championship.
The championship is played in conjunction with the World Amateur Team Championship for men, which will be played Oct. 4-7 at Antalya Golf Club and Cornelia Golf Club, also in Antalya. The Turkish Golf Federation will serve as host of the 2012 championships.
The World Amateur Team Championships are conducted by the International Golf Federation, which was founded in 1958 to encourage the international development of the game and to employ golf as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship. The IGF, the International Olympic Committee’s international federation for golf, comprises the national governing bodies of golf in more than 125 countries, and is the organization that will conduct the golf competition at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
USA Team Member Bios
Austin Ernst, 20, Seneca, S.C.
Austin Ernst captured the individual title at the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship as a freshman at Louisiana State University. Her NCAA victory was the first in LSU women’s golf history and the second tournament victory of her collegiate career, following the 2011 Central District Invitational. Her final-round 66 in the NCAAs included her first career hole-in-one.
Ernst followed her standout freshman season with a victory at the opening tournament of the 2011-12 season, the Cougar Classic. She received first-team All-America honors from the NGCA in 2011, was named an honorable mention in 2012 and was named to the All-SEC second team in 2011 and 2012. She has since left LSU and will compete in LPGA Tour Qualifying School in the fall as an amateur.
Ernst advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur, to the round of 16 in 2012 and has also competed in the U.S. Girls’ Junior. She also went 2-1-1 for the USA at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match.
Ernst won the 2012 North & South Women’s Amateur Championship, as well as the 2010 Carolinas Golf Association’s Carolinas Women’s Match-Play and the Vicki DiSantis Junior Girls’ championships. Ernst also received an exemption into the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she made the 36-hole cut, tying for 49th place.
Ernst is the daughter of Mark and Melanie Ernst. She has one brother, Drew, who played golf at Coastal Carolina University. She was born Jan. 31, 1992, in Greenville, S.C.
Erynne Lee, 19, Silverdale, Wash.
Erynne Lee is a rising sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles. During her standout freshman season, she won the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate. She went on to earn Pac-12 Conference and Division I Freshman of the Year honors and was named to the National Golf Coaches Association All-America first team.
During her junior career, Lee garnered four wins on the American Junior Golf Association circuit: the 2010 Laredo Energy Junior at Traditions, the 2008 and 2009 Kathy Whitworth Invitationals and the 2008 AJGA at Wenatchee. She was a member of the 2008 Junior Ryder Cup Team, as well as the 2007 Evian Junior Cup Team USA.
Lee advanced to the semifinals of the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur, where she lost to eventual champion Amanda Blumenherst, and was a tri-medalist at the 2010 championship, where she lost in the quarterfinals to eventual runner-up Jessica Korda. Lee also reached the quarterfinals at the 2011 and 2012 Women’s Amateurs. She has competed in two U.S. Women’s Opens, in 2008 and 2011, along with the 2008-10 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships.
Lee is the daughter of Brian Lee and the late Debbie Kim. She has one younger sister, Katie, who also competed in the 2010 Women’s Amateur. She was born Feb. 19, 1993, in Silverdale, Wash.
Lisa McCloskey, 21, Houston
Lisa McCloskey recently completed her eligibility at the University of Southern California. She tied for first at the 2012 NCAA Central Regional, and was named to the NGCA All-America First Team. A rib injury kept her out of the 2011 NCAA Championships; however, her strong junior year garnered her second-team All-America honors from the NGCA in 2011. She was named to the All-Pac-12 first team both seasons.
McCloskey spent her freshman and sophomore years (2008-2010) at Pepperdine University, where she won three tournaments, including the 2010 West Coast Conference Championship. While at Pepperdine, McCloskey became the first women's college player to post a 54-hole score under 200 when she won the 2008 Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown with a 17-under 199. She won conference first-team and Freshman of the Year honors in 2009, and received NGCA honorable-mention honors in 2009 and 2010.
McCloskey was the runner-up to Emily Tubert at the 2010 Women’s Amateur Public Links. She qualified for the 2010 and 2011 Women’s Opens, and made the cut in 2010 as the third-lowest amateur. McCloskey also took medalist honors at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior, where her second-round 63 tied for the second-lowest 18-hole score in championship history. At the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, McCloskey went 2-2-0.
McCloskey was the runner-up at the 2010 Women’s North & South Championship, and advanced to the semifinals in 2009 and 2011. She also received an exemption into the 2011 LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she missed the cut.
McCloskey is the daughter of Jeff and Maria McCloskey. She has one brother, Jay. She was born Aug. 7, 1991, in Bogota, Colombia, where her father worked in the oil industry. She is a citizen of both the United States and Colombia, representing her birth country at the 2010 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship, where she tied for eighth individually, and the 2010 Copa los Andes.