Romo enjoys hot start with 70 at Safeway
Former Cowboys QB in good position to make first PGA TOUR cut
September 26, 2019
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Tony Romo's birdie on No. 9 at Safeway Open
NAPA, Calif. – Tony Romo didn’t come close to making the cut in his first three PGA TOUR starts, twice at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship and once at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Still, as was the case when he quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys, he was undeterred by a little adversity.
“Same thing I did in football,” Romo said after birdies on his last two holes for a 2-under 70 at Silverado, his best round on TOUR by four shots. “You just start from the beginning. You’re not very good, not very good, and then all of a sudden you make the leap somewhere and all of a sudden you can be more efficient and you can do things a little bit better.”
At the conclusion of the opening round, Romo is tied for 28th place and squarely in contention to make his first cut. He made 122 feet of putts and beat his playing partners Beau Hossler (74) and Michael Gellerman (77) with ease.
“He played well, so that was fun to watch, and he’s a good guy,” said Gellerman, who calls himself a fan of the Minnesota Vikings. That’s the team that will play the Chicago Bears in Chicago on Sunday, a game Romo is scheduled to call for CBS, his day job. If he makes the cut, he has said he will stay at Silverado to finish out the tournament.
Few observers gave Romo much of a chance to make the cut. When he shot 79-80 at the Corales last season, he missed the cut by a wide margin and beat only one pro who did not withdraw. He shot 77-82 there the year before. His best result came at the AT&T Byron Nelson on his home course, but scores of 76-74 weren’t even close to good enough to play into the weekend.
“It’s embarrassing to stink,” Romo said after his five-birdie, three-birdie round at Silverado on Thursday. “I stunk a lot, so just trying to continue to improve and get better.”
His highly public failures told him what he wasn’t good at, especially putting, but he worked hard with instructor Chris O’Connell on every aspect of his game. He’d seen that hard work pay off in his scores at home in Dallas, but executing in a TOUR event is another matter.
“Just the scoring back home and in practice sessions have shown that I’ve done things a little better,” Romo said. “So that makes you excited to come out and test your game. I think it’s rewarding on a tough golf course to come out here and do that.”
Other players took notice of Romo’s performance.
“I need to start making some birdies,” said afternoon starter Justin Thomas (71), when asked what he was thinking after seeing Romo’s morning score. “I don’t want to lose to a guy that does TV but I did.” (Laughs) “No, but it’s awesome. I’m happy for him. It’s a lot of pressure for him to play out here, and everyone’s kind of expecting him to fail and not play well.
“I hope he plays well (Friday),” Thomas added. “It’d just be kind of a smack in the face to all those people that were giving him crap before he teed off. He’s a competitor.”