Tony Romo to play in Western Amateur

Associated Press

Tony Romo to play in Western Amateur

Amateur

Tony Romo to play in Western Amateur

Tony Romo is used to sizable challenges, but he’ll face one of his biggest yet in a few weeks.

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback has committed to play in the Western Amateur, the Western Golf Association announced Thursday.

This will be quite the undertaking for Romo.

The Western Amateur, which starts July 31 at Skokie Country Club in Glencoe, Ill., is the third-oldest amateur tournament in golf and boasts a ridiculous field this year.

The list of participants includes the following: Joaquin Niemann, No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking; Braden Thornberry, the 2017 NCAA individual champion and winner of the Haskins Award presented by Stifel; Dylan Meyer, defending champion and No. 4 in the WAGR; Sam Burns, winner of the 2017 Jack Nicklaus Award at the Division I level; Collin Morikawa, 2017 Northeast Amateur winner and No. 5 in the WAGR; Scottie Scheffler, low amateur at last month’s U.S. Open.

That and roughly 150 more players to compete against. Good luck with that, Tony.

Romo recently retired from the NFL, and he’ll be the lead NFL game analyst at CBS starting this fall. As Romo is no longer an NFL player, it frees him up golfing-wise.

Rather than having to take part in training camp and having little overall leisure time to hit the links, Romo can now refocus on his golfing exploits to a degree.

How will he stack up against this caliber of field? It’ll be difficult for sure, but don’t totally count Romo out here.

Romo isn’t your average athlete from another sport trying his hand at high-stakes golf. The ex-Cowboys star once contemplated becoming an assistant golf professional when he was struggling to gain traction on the Cowboys’ roster early in his NFL career. He also has been to U.S. Open qualifying several times, and actually made it to sectionals in 2010 – he had to withdraw during that sectionals in order to take part in Cowboys OTAs. After 2011, Romo put his U.S. Open qualifying dreams on hiatus until he retired.

Romo was sidelined during the 2016 preseason due to a compression fracture in his back and lost his starting QB job for the Cowboys to rookie Dak Prescott.

After the season, Romo hung up his cleats. In April, Romo competed in the Azalea Invitational – missing the 54-hole cut – and then returned to U.S. Open qualifying for the first time in six years. Romo shot 3-over 75 at his local qualifier at Split Rail Links & Golf Club in Aledo, Texas, to miss out on sectionals by six shots.

At the very least, it’ll be interesting to see how Romo, who’s competing in a couple weeks at the celebrity-based American Century Classic as well, does against several of golf’s most promising future pro prospects. NBA star Steph Curry received criticism for accepting a sponsor invite to a Web.com Tour event next month. But remember that Curry is around a 2 handicap, whereas Romo at one point was a +3.3 – and there’s his previous competitive experience we noted above.

Romo is 37 years old. Could he have a late career in golf? If he’s contemplating it at all, his Western Amateur experience will serve as a pretty important early test.

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