Kris Tamulis gave a special thanks to her caddie for her breakthrough victory Sunday at the Yokohama Tire Classic in Prattville, Ala.
Thomas “Motion” Frank was as emotional as Tamulis in the aftermath.
Four-and-a-half months ago, Frank lost his home in Houston to a fire after it was struck by lightning. It was his long-time family home that he purchased from his mother. Tamulis and other tour pros helped a friend of Frank’s raise more than $14,000 to assist in the rebuilding.
“Mo believes in me more than I believe in me,” Tamulis said after winning her first LPGA title in her 11th season on tour. “He’s just such an inspiration.”
Tamulis, 34, said she was amazed at the attitude Frank showed in the wake of the fire. It came through in his initial reaction to the loss of his home.
“The text I got from him, the first thing he said was, 'You know, It's OK, I've got the best friends, I've got the best family, and I've got my health,'” Tamulis said. “And I'm like, 'Mo, what you have going for you is your unbelievable attitude.' He just keeps me going, keeps me believing in myself. When I don't want to be out there, he's like, 'Come on, let's do this.' So, he helps me a lot. He's the best.”
Tamulis said the way Frank handled his own adversity spoke to her.
“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.”
An LPGA caddie for almost 30 years, Frank is known for the ties he likes to wear on Sundays while toting his player’s bag. He used to caddie for Jane Crafter and Helen Alfredsson, and he even caddied for Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, not as their regular caddies, but in select rounds.
“I caddied for Jack at his home course, probably '93, when I worked at Loxahatchee Club,” Frank said. “I caddied for Arnie in 1985. It was an exhibition at a course he designed. It was the first professional I'd ever caddied for in my life, a nine-hole exhibition. You know what he did? He sent me a brand new set of clubs that year, and I will cherish him the rest of my life for that.”
Frank said the reconstruction of his house is a work in progress.
“It was a natural disaster,” he said. “I lost all my memorabilia, and I'm a memorabilia guy, but I've got this [victory] now. I can start a new collection. That's all material stuff. My friends are more important to me than the material stuff.”