Kris Tamulis had been waiting a long time for this -- 185 starts to be exact. But on Sunday, she finally earned a breakthrough win on the LPGA Tour, taking the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Alabama.
She had to play 29 holes on Sunday to do it, finishing out a weather-delayed third round at The Senator Course in Prattville with a 5-under 67, then did two better in the final round with a 65 that held off former No. 1 Yani Tseng and Austin Ernst by a shot at 17-under 271.
The 34-year-old may well have been helped by the marathon nature of the finish, leaving little time to think about what could happen.
"It was amazing," Tamulis said after the win. "I was definitely not expecting this today."
Tamulis made a birdie on the 71st hole of the tournament and came up just short of another on the 18th, left to wonder if someone would catch her from well behind. After waiting almost an hour, the 34-year-old had her win when neither Ernst nor Tseng, playing together, could convert their birdie putts.
"When they both missed I was just shocked," said Tamulis, who didn't even bother hopping to the range to prepare for a potential playoff. She didn't follow what was happening on the course on her phone, either. A friend did that, according to the Associated Press.
After the win, Tamulis said she was inspired by her caddie, Thomas “Motion” Frank, who lost his Houston home, which he purchased from his mother, in April in a fire caused by a lightning strike.
“Mo believes in me more than I believe in me,” said Tamulis, according to Golf Channel. “He’s just such an inspiration.”
Tamulis and her fellow LPGA players raised $14,000 to help Frank rebuild the home.
“Having what happened to him really puts everything in perspective,” Tamulis said. “He's been dealing with the city and trying to figure out his house situation since then. That was in April. He shows up. He's great, and I am so thankful. He really puts everything in perspective for me, and I'm just really lucky to have him.”