Tony Romo just completed his first season in the broadcast booth after 12 years as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.
But Romo’s broadcast partner at CBS, Jim Nantz, broke a bit of news Wednesday by revealing that Romo will soon be returning to competition.
It won’t be on the football field, however.
Nantz revealed in an interview with Golf.com that Romo will be participating in his first PGA Tour event in the very near future.
“He’s going to play in a Tour event,” Nantz said. “He’s going to get an exemption in the next, let’s just say two months. So he’s going to put it out there on the line.”
Romo is a talented golfer, especially for someone who doesn’t do it for a living. He’s basically a scratch handicap, and has tried on multiple occasions to qualify for the U.S. Open.
His last participation in competitive golf was last year’s U.S. Open qualifying round. Romo shot a 75, missing the chance to advance to the next qualifying round by six shots.
Not only is Romo likely to be in a PGA Tour event, rumors suggest he might also join Nantz for some of CBS’ golf telecasts this season.
Nantz told the SI Media Podcast that Romo is “a golf broadcasting nerd” who can recount famous calls of old Masters tournaments.
“He really has enough history and appreciation for the history of the medium,” Nantz said. “It’s not just golf commentators and golf broadcasts.”
Nantz, who played collegiate golf for the University of Houston and was a roommate of 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples, has covered the PGA Tour for CBS since 1985. He’s impressed by Romo’s dedication to the game.
“He’s a golf fanatic,” Nantz said. “He actually carries a putter with him on the road, even up into the booth. Sometimes I see him over in the corner, he’s practicing his stroke as we’re in commercial and he’s all in on the sport.”
Since Romo is not a member of the PGA Tour, he can only participate in a tournament one of two ways — via a sponsor’s exemption, whereby the tournament’s sponsor can select a handful of players they want to invite to a tournament even though they don’t meet the Tour’s qualifications for participation, or by earning his way into the field through a weekly qualifying event.
Romo’s popularity will easily earn him a sponsor’s exemption, although the specific event he might participate in has not been revealed.
A tournament in Texas would seem the most likely event to include Romo. The PGA Tour has five tournaments scheduled for Texas in the coming months, four of which could offer a sponsor’s exemption.
Those events are the Houston Open (March 29-April 1), the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio (April 19-22), the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic in Dallas (May 17-20) and the Dean & DeLuca Invitational in Fort Worth (May 24-27).
The other event in Texas — the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event in Austin in late March — won’t have any sponsor exemptions available because only 64 Tour players qualify for the event.
However, the other PGA Tour event that weekend — the Corales Puntacana Resort Championship in Mexico — will likely have exemptions available since so many of the top players will be at the WGC event.
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