GARLAND – A strong finish Tuesday helped propel University of Houston-Victoria head golf coach Christi Cano to a top-10 finish at the Energy Producers, Inc. Texas Women’s Open at the Bridges at Firewheel.
Starting the day tied for 14th, Cano got off to a little bit of a slow start in the final round, making the turn at one-over par 37. She quickly found her game and, behind three birdies and a bogey on the back nine, came in with a two-under 34 to finish with a one-under par 71.
Her 71 was good enough to move her up six spots in the standings to tie for eighth place in the 54-hole event at even-par 216. Cano opened with a 69 on Sunday and then posted a second round 76 on Monday.
“I was very pleased with my tournament finish,” said Cano following the tournament. “It’s been five years since my last competitive round, and it felt great to experience tournament golf again.”
Cano is no stranger to playing professionally, and she won the Texas Women’s Open title in 2013, her first professional victory, and played on the LPGA Tour from 2005 to 2010. She has also played in three U.S. Opens – 2005, 2010 and 2013.
“That was the whole reason for signing up to play in the event,” Cano said. “To play well and make a little paycheck was a bonus.”
Savannah Vilaubi, of Downey, Calif., fired a final round six-under par 66 to capture a one-shot win over Nicole Budnik, of the Woodlands. Budnik went into the day with a one-shot lead and held the lead throughout much of the day before a bogey at the final hole cost her a share of the lead with Vilaubi.
Vilaubi takes home the $10,000 winner’s prize and receives an exemption into the 2019 LPGA Volunteers of America Classic on Oct. 3-6 at Old American Golf Club.
The tournament is hosted by the Northern Texas Section of the PGA with 49 pros and 57 amateurs competing for the title. The pros were also competing for a share of the $50,000 overall purse.