Romo advances in U.S. Open golf qualifier that ends in playoff after dark
By Todd Archer
The Dallas Morning News
CARROLLTON, Texas — Honors Golf Club was drenched in darkness as Tony Romo's tap-in putt on the third playoff hole fell into the cup at 8:54 p.m. Thursday.
Some eight hours after he teed off in the local qualifier for the U.S. Open, the Cowboys quarterback advanced for the first time to the sectional qualifying, which will be played June 7 at The Club at Carlton Woods at The Woodlands.
Romo shot a 69 in regulation to make the playoff by birdieing three of his final four holes after back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 4 and 5 nearly derailed his round. In the playoff, which came two hours after his round finished, he overcame a flubbed chip on No. 9 but recovered for a par.
"It's nice to know that you can do things and get your blood pressure and emotions under control in this situation and still do good things," Romo said. "And that carries over to football, and I try to use the way you think, the way you breathe, all those things in football and it's just another tool to help you get better."
Romo had been an alternate for the sectional qualifying before (2005), which he made in a playoff, but was not needed. Now, he is one step away from playing in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 17-20.
First, however, Romo will have to conquer 36 holes to earn one of the 90 qualifying spots at 13 section qualifiers across the country.
On Monday he had to pass up a chance to qualify for the HP Byron Nelson Championship because it conflicted with the Cowboys organized team activities. There is no conflict for the sectional qualifier. The Cowboys have their OTAs on June 8-10, followed by the minicamp on June 11-13.
Vince Jewell (64), Bill Allcorn (65), Scott Abbott (68), Casey Clendenon (68) did not need a playoff to move on. Britt Patton birdied the second playoff hole to advance, then Romo and Anthony Broussard had pars on the 462-yard 10th hole, a converted par-5, to qualify.
It came after Romo convinced the group to play another hole in darkness ... and a pesky sprinkler, which was spinning near the 10th tee.
Romo's tee shot found the light rough and his second shot nestled within 10 feet of the cup.
"I wish I could remember which way this broke," he said as he looked over the putt, unable to read the green.
He eased the putt to within tap-in distance after Robby Ormond made a bogey.
While he would have accepted an exemption to the Nelson, Romo was happy to advance in the Open qualifying because how he was able to do it. After the bogey-run on Nos. 4 and 5, Romo nailed a curling 17-footer for birdie on the par-5 sixth hole, an uphill and right-to-left 35-footer for birdie on No. 8 and then finished off the round by nearly driving the par-4 ninth hole and settling his pitch to within 18 inches.