While most eyes in the golf world are fixated on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, a certain former Dallas Cowboys quarterback is drawing major attention to the opposite-field event down in the Dominican Republic.
Tony Romo is making his PGA Tour debut this week at the Corales Resort & Club Championship, an event that features rising stars (Patrick Rodgers, Emiliano Grillo) and multiple major champions (Retief Goosen, Jim Furyk, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Angel Cabrera).
Romo, a +0.3 handicap, isn't the only major sports star to try his hand at professional golf recently. Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, a two-ish handicap, shot a more than respectable 74-74 at the Web.com Ellie Mae Classic—he missed the cut by 11 but managed to beat eight players who completed .
We'll be live-updating Romo's progress throughout Thursday and Friday. And, of course, if he defies odds to make the weekend.
1:12 p.m.: Pars on 17 and 18 add up to five-over 77
Romo made ho-hum pars on both 17 and 18 to get in with a five-over 77. Romo was visibly disappointed with his back-nine 41 and is currently ahead of only one other player on the golf course: 53-year-old Guy Boros. His chances of making the cut are virtually non-existent at this point.
12:49 p.m.: The round is getting away, currently at +5
Two wayward drives to the right forced Romo to hit provisionals on both 15 and 16. He actually ended up finding both balls but could not advance either to the green and made back-to-back bogey 5's.
Announcers have been wondering if Romo isn't feeling his best—he appears to be moving gingerly and has come out of his last couple shots.
12:08 p.m.: Double-bogey 7 at 14
The wheels are in danger of spinning off. Romo's second shot at the par-5 14th found long grass surrounding a pot bunker and he couldn't advance it to the green. He left left another wedge short of the green—he said earlier this week that his wedge play is not up to Tour standards—then needed three to get it in from there. All said and done, that's a 7. That hurts his chances of making the cut significantly, as benign scoring conditions have led to low scores.
11:46 a.m.: Sloppy approach leads to bogey, +1 overall
Romo didn't take advantage of a good drive that split the fairway. He left his short-iron approach short of the green and couldn't get it up and down. He is now +1, which puts him in a tie for 44th place with roughly half the field still yet to tee off.
11:27 a.m.: Another good save at 12
Romo made an unfortunate mistake by missing his wedge approach on the wrong side of the flag. His ball landed about 15 feet short of the flag but took a slope off the green and ended up in a swale. He banged a putt up the slope to a few feet and had no problem with the par save.
11:11 a.m.: good par saves at 10 and 11 to stay at even
Romo, a man who has never lacked swagger, walked in a 15-footer for par on the 10th then hit his tee shot right over the flag at the par-3 11th. A nifty chip left him about three feet for another par save, which he knocked right in the middle.
10:46 a.m.: up-and-down front nine leads to even-par 36
Romo (understandably) had a nervy start, bogeying his first two holes, but he quickly turned it around with birdies at the par-5 4th and par-4 5th to get it back to level par. He knocked it over the par-5 7th in two but made a mess of it from there en route to a sloppy 6 before a third birdie on the front nine at 8 to get back to even. Certainly an impressive start for the four-time Pro Bowl QB.
For those interested, Romo is wearing a brandless black hat, a black shirt also without a logo, gray pants and black shoes.