Savannah Vilaubi played collegiate golf at UC Riverside, which at various points over the years has used Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon in Beaumont, California, as a practice facility and logged numerous competitive rounds on its Champions Course, including participating in a memorable nine-hole Cactus Tour playoff a few years ago. In a race against the clock Friday afternoon, she posted one of the afternoon’s better scores, a -3 round of 69, and currently sits three shots off the lead pending resumption of play on Saturday morning in a tie for ninth.
In the first group off number ten, Vilaubi went out with two birdies and a lone bogey on the par three 17th. She was steady on the front, making seven straight pars before finishing with back-to-back birdies. Vilaubi was on fire with the flatstick, recording 28 putts while hitting 12 greens in her opening round.
Meanwhile, Temecula’s Monika Poomcharoen, from nearby Temecula, CA, and a Great Oak High School graduate, was the fifth alternate last Thursday and only found out she was in the field late Monday afternoon.
She also went off in the afternoon wave and was in one of the final handful of groups to beat darkness, curling in a thirty-foot birdie putt to post a -1 round of 71. She’s in a tie for 33rd, five shots off the lead at the time of suspension after hitting fourteen greens in regulation in her first competitive round on the Champions layout. It was her first round on the Epson Tour.
Play was suspended at 6:50 PM local time due to darkness as fog delayed morning tee times on Friday by one hour. It will resume on Saturday at 7:30 AM tomorrow, with round two starting at 8 AM.