Former NFL quarterback Tony Romo will be on his couch watching the U.S. Open next month along with millions of other golf fans, after failing to qualify for America’s most prestigious golf championship by shooting a three-over par 75, six strokes above the cut line.
The pride of the Dallas Cowboys didn’t even come close. Romo tied for 40th place out of 107 entrants in a regional qualifier at Split Rail Links and Golf Club in Aledo, Texas.
The 37-year-old, four-time Pro-bowl passer, joined about 9500 other golfers in their bid to tee-it-up at Erin Hills, the site of the 2017 U.S. Open to be played June 15-18 in Wisconsin. It is the first time the tournament will be played at the gorgeous and demanding venue, and a first time for the state of Wisconsin to hold the Open. The golfers will be weaned down to about 70 players when the tournament commences.
Romo has long prided himself on his golf, and plays to about a plus 3.3 handicap, which is competitive with the majority of professional golfers. In 2009, Golf Digest ranked Romo as the number one golfer of professional athletes who doesn’t make their living playing golf.
Nevertheless, it appears his game needs a bit of work if he plans on going pro. Jordan Spieth, a good friend of Romo’s, in 2015 claimed he was spotting the ex-Cowboy 2-3 a side and stuffing his wallet with Romo’s cash. In 2015 when sports commentator Jim Rome asked the 2015 U.S. Open winner how much he’s won from Romo, Spieth remarked: “I don’t know. I can’t even count that high. He’s a good friend and a great competitor so we have fun out there.”
Romo wouldn’t be the first NFL quarterback to join the ranks of professional golfers if he were to sharpen his skills enough to qualify as a professional tour player. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and 1970 NFL MVP, John Brodie, played on the Champions Tour from 1985-1998. Brodie, who once threw for 30 touchdowns in one season, won the 1991 Security Pacific Senior Classic and captured 12 top-ten finishes during his golfing campaign.
Brodie once said about the sport that many ridicule as not really being a sport, but a game:
Some critics claim golf is only a walk in the park and cannot be called an athletic event…. I think golf is the most demanding sport of them all in asking coordination from mind and body. It involves more qualities than any other game. Football is repetition. After many hours of work with teammates, you react by reflex and instinct. There are so many factors depending on more than one person. … I learned a lot on the tour. Possibly most important, I learned a lot about myself.
NBC Sports reported that in 2010 Romo made it to the sectional qualifying, but had to pull out due to his obligations with the Cowboys. Also, in 2005 he qualified as an alternate for sectional qualifying.