Big breakthrough comes after Tamulis ties a career best
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., September 11, 2015 – Kris Tamulis waited 10 years and 185 previous starts for a moment like she earned Sunday at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, tying a career best in relation to par with a final round 7-under-par 65 to edge out Yani Tseng and Austin Ernst by one shot. Tamulis earned her first career LPGA win and also the Kia Most Compelling Performance Award for the month of August. Kia is the Official Automotive Partner of the LPGA.
Tamulis’ victory didn’t come without a wait though. After posting 17-under-par for the clubhouse lead, Tamulis had to wait 45 minutes for the lead groups to finish and refused to watch as Yani Tseng and Austin Ernst failed to birdie any of the last three holes to tie her.
Prior to her win in Alabama, Tamulis’ best career finish was a pair of fourth place finishes, and Tamulis admitted she never even considered winning and didn’t see a leaderboard from the ninth green on. She was more concerned with just finishing on a day that included 29 holes because of a weather suspension the day prior. She also wanted to secure a spot in the field at the CME Group Tour Championship at the end of the season in her hometown of Naples, Fla. But she got far more than that - both for her and for her caddie, Thomas “Motion” Frank. Frank was in Hawaii caddying for Tamulis in April of this year when he found out that his house had been struck by lightning. Along with his housing, he lost all the memorabilia he had collected over the years, but as he stood off the green with tears of joy streaming down his face, Tamulis was able to provide a piece of memorabilia to him that he said makes up for all he’s lost - the flag from the 18th hole of her first win.
The 2015 Kia Most Compelling Performance Award winner will be announced at the season-ending 2015 CME Group Tour Championship following an online fan vote (fan voting begins October 1, 2015). Previous winners of the 2015 monthly awards were Sei Young Kim for her stellar performance at the LOTTE Championship Presented by HERSHEY in April, Minjee Lee for her performance at the Kingsmill Championship in May, Inbee Park in June for winning her third consecutive KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and Chella Choi in July for her first career win at the Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I.
Performances may include a single tournament, multiple tournaments, single-round accomplishments or record-breaking performances. Winners of all the 2015 Kia Performance Awards will receive an all-new 2016 Kia Sorento, Kia’s best-selling CUV.
The 2015 Kia Performance Awards are:
- Kia Power Drive - Awarded to the player with the longest driving distance
- Kia Drive to the Top - Awarded to the player with the most top-10 finishes
- Kia Most Compelling Performance - Recognizes a player with an exceptional performance throughout the year; this award will be awarded monthly then the year-end winner will be chosen by fans through an online vote
- Kia Community Assist - Recognizing a player who makes exceptional contributions to charity organizations or community programs