Kris Tamulis: Sunday Interview 2015

MODERATOR: we would like to welcome to the media center Kris Tamulis, 2015 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic winner and firsttime LPGA winner. Kris, how does it feel?

KRIS TAMULIS: It's amazing. I was definitely not expecting this today. I was just out there playing my game and I had a lot of opportunities for birdie, which was really nice to have. Kept it below the hole for the most part. Honestly didn't even know what I shot until I counted my birdies at the end of the round. It was a marathon out there. We were just trying to get it in, beat the weather, and that's it. So it's unbelievable.

MODERATOR: You played about 29 holes today.

KRIS TAMULIS: I did.

MODERATOR: How is that 

KRIS TAMULIS: All of them. I had a great group out there today. We were  we just kept ourselves going. We played really quick. Unfortunately, the group in front of us kind of held us up a lot of the time the last couple days, but we were  we just kept ourselves moving. We had  that bag Motion was carrying today was so heavy because we weren't sure if we were going to have time for lunch in between. So it's hot here, it was going to be a really long day, so we just ate, kept ourselves loose and kept going. We counted down from 29 holes. I remember telling the girls, "We've got 26 left, guys, we can do this, let's do it, we've got it!"

MODERATOR: You mentioned that you actually snuck a peak at the scoreboard, I think on your ninth hole.

KRIS TAMULIS: Yeah, on accident. Usually I look at the scoreboards and I don't really think anything of it, but today I just felt really good. It wasn't that big of a deal for me whether I made bogeys out there or I was making birdies, I was just going to keep going. I was hitting it good and I made some really good putts. I had a couple chipins which were unexpected. Well, one was very chippable, the other one had a lot of break in it, pretty unexpected but great speed. And like Mo always tells me, there's a reason why we practice, all this is paying off. I just did it.

MODERATOR: That's awesome. As your first win, LPGA champ now, how does it feel that you had a better chance to secure your spot in the Asian swing as well as the CME in your hometown?

KRIS TAMULIS: Well, I obviously always want to play in the CME, that's my biggest goal no matter what. Last year I was unfortunately high on the money list but did not secure enough points so I didn't get to play. I cannot tell you how many people come up to me even months after the tournament is done and over and all of the people in Naples tell me how much they miss me not being there. I'm like, Well, I know, I was trying to be there, too. So that was really hard for me last year.

This year I just tried to not think about it as much. I had a really good week in Meijer and that was nice to kind of get me some points and move up there, but at the same time, at the end of the day the money list is really important and I can't really judge  I mean, CME, you need to be very consistent and you get points every week, and I've been kind of blah and have a good week and then a little blah, so I was losing points and losing ground every week. Actually, the last couple weeks not putting well at all, and so this week was important for me because I just wanted to make sure that if I wanted to play in all five Asian events, that I was high enough on the money list. I didn't look to see how much I dropped after last week, and now I don't have to worry about it.

MODERATOR: You mentioned actually that you have the same yardage book from 2007.

KRIS TAMULIS: Yes.

MODERATOR: You also mentioned Alabama's close to Florida.

KRIS TAMULIS: It is.

MODERATOR: Is it nice being able to come to Alabama, so close to your home state 

KRIS TAMULIS: Yes.

MODERATOR: and having people come out and support you?

KRIS TAMULIS: It's terrific. I love playing here. I've had a lot of good tournaments here in the past. I don't know why this course sets up well for me because for the most part, you could say it's a bomber's course and I'm just kind of average, but I'm long enough that I can hit it over a lot of the doglegs and I'm a good enough iron player that I can hit it in the right part of the green. So the most important part this week was because the greens were so fast was to hit it in the fairway. Thankfully I did that a lot and that gave me the best opportunity to keep it below the hole and to have the best birdie putts.

MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

KRIS TAMULIS: But to answer your question, yes, I love playing Alabama. Like I said, it's one state away from Florida and it's like right there, and I get to go home next week, which is awesome.

Q. Did it help you  your first win, did it help you at all being a few groups back and not being in the final pairing without repairing after the morning round?

KRIS TAMULIS: Yeah, I definitely think it was probably to my advantage. I played in the last group in Michigan and there I probably  I just wanted to have a good week. I wasn't really anticipating  I wasn't really gunning for a win, I just wanted to kind of play my own game.

I was paired with Lexi, and honestly, she played awesome that day. She hit her wedges so close, she hits it so far and she made a lot of putts and that's what you have to do to win. She went for it, she went for all the par 5s and she took it.

I felt good in the last group. They're really nice girls to play with. I always have Motion standing next to me, we have a pretty good time out there, and I had a lot of family out. We had a really good time. I wasn't really that nervous. It's not  my coach, Herb, always tells me I'm not curing cancer out here. So whether I play good or I don't, like nothing drastic is going to happen to me, so that really keeps me calm.

Things could be a lot worse. I play a game. And I don't have to be out here; I could be doing something else. But yes, I mean, it was nice to be a few shots back. Nobody really cared what we were doing until the cameras were like right there, and I was like hmm, we must doing pretty good.

Q. How did having to play this morning and then come back out to play, finish the third round and start the fourth round especially on a hot humid day, how did that affect you?

KRIS TAMULIS: Well, my group and I, we just treated it like a long day. I mean, it was going to be a marathon. I keep saying that word but it was. 29 holes is basically two rounds and it was a long day. I mean, we really did nothing yesterday. We warmed up a couple times, we played seven and a tee shot, and that was really nice to kind of get that in because 36 would have been a really long day. But you just keep moving. That's the best you can  that's all you can do. You don't really have time to think about anything else, you're just out there and you're counting down the holes and you're like all right, we've got 18 more. I started at 26, we have 26 more. Then I flip open my scorecard and we're like, oh, we've got nine more, we're like in single digits. You just do it, you just keep going.

Q. And one more quick question. With the group that you were playing with, how did you support each other through this marathon?

KRIS TAMULIS: Well, we had a lot of snacks. WeiLing and Sei Young are really nice girls and they're pretty funny, so we just talked about what we were all doing next week. WeiLing's on her way to Tennessee today. She played 29 holes and she's working out with her trainer tomorrow to work on some exercises, kind of golf specific. So you're going to play 29 holes and then be kind of fresh for your workout tomorrow? She's like yeah, I didn't think about it, but then plans changed after playing only seven holes yesterday. So we just talked a lot and ate, walked. It's a long day.

MODERATOR: Well, your caddie, Mo or Motion, is a popular face on tour as well as yourself and you guys have been together for just over a year now. Not everybody knows, but his house was actually struck by lightning earlier this year. I know that there's a lot of  I think you got some people together to help rebuild his house. Can you talk about your guys' relationship and how great it was to have him on the bag with you?

KRIS TAMULIS: Oh, absolutely. Mo is a terrific supporter of me. He believes in me when I don't believe in myself. He keeps me going when I don't want to be out there. He most always has a smile on his face. He puts a smile on my face sometimes, too, which is nice. He's just great. He has the best attitude of anybody I've probably ever met.

The first text that I got when his house got struck by lightning, we missed the cut in Hawaii and I left early to get to San Fran and it was a couple weeks before my wedding and we were  I had played really bad the first day and played really good the second day and like just missed out. I landed in San Fran and I got this text. It was a couple pictures of his home and then it said, you know, it's all good though, I've got the best friends, I've got the best family and I've got the best boss. I'm like, Mo, what you have going for you is your unbelievable attitude.

Having what happened to him really puts everything in perspective. He's been dealing with the city and trying to figure out his house situation for  you know, 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.

MODERATOR: Last one before we wrap it up here. You actually finished a little bit early today and had some time on the range just waiting for the final groups to finish up. What was going through your mind and how did you kind of stay focused there?

KRIS TAMULIS: Well, I got on  I got in the scoring and I sat down in the air conditioning and had a snack. I talked to the volunteers in there and we just kind of hung out. I mean, I wasn't really expecting anything. I mean, when I finished, the girls were through  maybe they had three holes left, I think. Maybe they didn't birdie 16 and then they  nobody birdied 17, and Jane was out there on the range with me just trying to give me updates.

I honestly didn't really want to hit any balls because I had just played for so long and it was so hot. That was the last thing I really wanted to do. And when they both missed, I was just shocked. I mean, there's some really good opportunities out there the last couple holes, maybe not so much on 18 unless you really hit it down there, which Yani does. I was just shocked.

Q. That's about what I was going to ask. Did you see them or not?

KRIS TAMULIS: No, I didn't see them. I didn't have a TV or anything and I didn't really want to watch. It was only going to make me nervous. I had done what I could do and I couldn't control what they were going to do, so I just hung out.

Q. Probably a good thing because Yani (inaudible)

KRIS TAMULIS: Yeah, at the end of the day I would have been happy either way because I wasn't  I wasn't expecting it. I didn't even know. Like I did not look at the leaderboard until  I never looked at the leaderboard. I mean, when I finished on 18, I still didn't want to look at the leaderboard. I just asked Mo like how we did, and I don't think he had looked at the leaderboard. So we were just out there doing our job and whatever happens, happens.

Q. When you were on the range, how did you learn you won? Did you just start screaming?

KRIS TAMULIS: Well, Crafty was out there with me and she is a friend of mine. She's walked a lot of holes with me the last, really like the last month or so. She told me. She was just giving me the updates from her headphones, so there was no better person for me to have the news delivered than her.

MODERATOR: Well, congrats to our newest LPGA champ, Kris.

KRIS TAMULIS: Thank you.

Buy Tickets
Volunteer