A year ago, Kris Tamulis became a Rolex First-Time Winner by winning the 2015 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic and is now looking to defend her title at RTJ Golf Trail, Capitol Hill, Senator Course. Tamulis returns to Prattville with a relaxed mood looking forward to playing on a course that has always been familiar to her.
“I didn’t really have too many thoughts coming in,” Tamulis said. “I’ve always played pretty well here. I usually have control over my irons, and I can hit it in the right spots on the greens which is huge on this course.”
In 2015, Tamulis posted a 17-under, 271 edging out Yani Tseng and Austin Ernst to capture the win. The past few days, Tamulis has enjoyed some of the many events Alabama has to offer to the LPGA. From eating with fellow Tour players at the Mellow Mushroom to practicing the back nine with Brittany Lincicome.
“I like playing in smaller markets like this, because everything is really convenient,” Tamulis said. “When we first started coming here, there was nothing here! So now it’s kinda cool to come back and there’s a Publix’s, and a T.J. Maxx and Target, and we didn’t have any of that before.”
Tamulis is looking forward to playing on Thursday and hopes the winds will be on her side when she tees off during the first round.
“The wind is playing a lot longer,” Tamulis said. “There are some of the par 4s that I would say are more difficult. On 15, we used to hit it at the tower over the bunker and you would have a gap wedge in. While practicing today, I hit the ball with a hybrid so that’s a bit different.”
The Florida State grad will be teeing off in SEC Country on Thursday at 8:21 a.m. off the first tee alongside fellow LPGA winners Brooke Henderson and Haru Nomura.
STACY LEWIS EXCITED TO BE BACK IN ALABAMA
2012 champion Stacy Lewis is excited to get back to Alabama this week for the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
“I love playing here,” Lewis said. “I got the invite to come play in this tournament right out of college, and this is one of the tournaments that kind of helped me get my card and get my footing out here, so I’m always going to come back if I can make it work in the schedule; I’m going to be here.”
On of the reasons that Lewis was able to make such a strong statement is because of much she enjoys playing the on the RTJ Golf Trail, Capitol Hill, Senator Course.
“I love this golf course; it’s one that you can go out and make a bunch of birdies on, especially this year being a little bit softer,” Lewis explained. “ You can fire at more pins, and it’s going to take a pretty low score this week.“
Lewis’ results reflect this as in her last four appearances in Prattville she hasn’t finished outside of the top-6.
“Having success here, I love this golf course, and so just to be coming to a familiar place and a place that I’ve played well is always a good thing.”
Here are Lewis’ finishes in her last four trips to the RTJ Golf Trail for the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
2015 - T6
2014 - 2
2012 - 1
2011 - T6
MOM AND ME CLINIC INSPIRES YOUTH
On Wednesday afternoon, Julieta Granada and Annie Park took part in a “Mom and Me” clinic with over 30 local children and their mothers.
“I think it’s important for everybody to have a good relationship with their mothers,” Granada said. “I’m lucky enough to have that and if I can help some people realize that mothers always want what’s best for their kids and they always try to give the best advice possible and us kids can learn to listen more often. It’s very special to have your mom as your best friend.”
Yokohama and RTJ hosted the clinic in honor of Mother’s Day which is this Sunday. Both players mothers have been a big part of their golf games as Granada has her mother Rosa on the bag this week while Park’s mom Anne has caddied for her in the past.