ARGYLE, Texas – Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback-turned-CBS Sports analyst Tony Romo posted an opening-round 72 in the pre-qualifier for the Web.com Tour Q-School Wednesday at Lantana Golf Club — another step forward in his long-shot bid to earn professional golfer status.
“I’ve had a very good summer and have just gotten better and better,” he said afterward. “I want to see how this goes and how I can do.”
Romo’s best-ever tournament score against active professionals came 18 months after he retired following the 2016 NFL season.
His three-birdie first round in the three-day event has him tied for 26th place. Right now, he’s within the cut line to advance to the first stage of Web.com Tour qualifying.
The closest first stage qualifier to Romo would be Sept. 25-28 at Firewheel Golf Course in nearby Garland, Texas. Should he get through that, the closest second stage site would be Nov. 6-9 at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, also near where he lives in Dallas. Romo is not guaranteed a spot in a specific location, though he can make a request.
While the next two stages would fall squarely during his CBS football season announcing duties, Romo said doing the double duty between sports wouldn’t be an issue.
“I think we could work something out,” he said. “It’s competition, I’m a competitor and it’s the closest thing to football.”
Romo, who won the American Century Celebrity Pro-Am this summer at Lake Tahoe, Nev., has started working with Chris O’Connell (longtime coach of Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan) and said he has committed himself to the hard work of being a competitive, if not professional, golfer.
Earlier this year Romo was granted an exemption to play in a Nationwide Tour event at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, but struggled with an opening 77 and ultimately finished last, missing the 36-hole cut.
“That was when I was first starting out as a real golfer,” he said. “I hadn’t practiced much and didn’t do much to get ready. Now, I get out of bed, I have a routine, and grind it out to get better. I just want to see how good I can be.”
On a hot Texas afternoon just north of Dallas, where he provided locals plenty of football thrills, he started hot. Romo made birdies on holes 1, 3 and 8, making the turn at one under, tied for ninth.
He made seven straight pars on the back nine before a three-putt bogey on the par 4 17th.
“I just left so many strokes out there today,” Romo said. “I just got to get the ball in the hole. I hit it really good for 14 holes today, but the three putts and mis-shots really hurt. I know I can play better.”
Along with his win in Reno, Romo also won a county tournament in his home state of Wisconsin.
Romo, who is a regular partner of Jordan Spieth’s in Dallas, has tried to qualify for several U.S. Opens and other USGA events. He has advanced to the sectional qualifying in the past, but failed to do so this summer after shooting a 77 in local qualifying.
“I’ve seen what Steph (Curry) has done and what I’ve done in the Web.com and it’s competing, just wanting to get better,” Romo said. “That’s what I’m about.”