The reality of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo getting a chance to qualify for the HP Byron Nelson Championship is fading fast. Romo has his scheduled tee time on Monday set for 9:57 a.m. What does this mean? His commitment to the Cowboys is much greater and unless something miraculous occurs, he will miss his tee time Monday morning.
Romo had initially asked for the latest possible tee time and it was granted. The only problem is that time was 9:57 and the start of the Cowboys’ organized team activities are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the same day.
Romo said last week that the only way he could attempt to qualify is if he had an afternoon tee time. The qualifying tournament, which has 85 players, had to start early due to possible weather delays. The only chance he has is if weather delays the start of qualifying long enough for him to make it.
“With 90 or less players, the PGA Tour requires that we tee off in the morning so we have plenty of time to finish the qualifying tournament in case of weather delays and playoffs,” said Mark Harrison, director of operations for the Northern Texas PGA in a release sent out Saturday afternoon. The NTPGA puts on the event each year.
“In a way, Tony was unlucky that a few more players did not enter. If we had a handful more players, we could have accommodated his late tee time request and he would have definitely been able to play after his football commitments. As it stands now, I am sure Tony will be watching the weather during practice Monday morning and hoping for some rain.”
Romo is currently scheduled to play with Robert McMillan and Bryan Baker, and the top four qualifiers from Monday’s tournament will get to play in the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club next week. Another option for Romo, if he fails to participate in the qualifying tournament, would be a sponsor exemption. However, Nelson officials say the prefer giving them to up and coming young golfers or special circumstances with professionals. Nelson tournament chairman, George Conant, would love to have Romo play but had to take into consideration other issues.
“We’re all fans of Tony Romo, and we think it would be great if he qualified for the tournament. But when we look at our sponsor exemptions, we have to think long term,” said Nelson tournament chairman George Conant.
“That’s why we gave exemptions to Tiger Woods and Justin Leonard years ago, and it’s why we’ve given one to Jordan Spieth, the top-ranked junior golfer in the country and the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur Champion. We also look at pros like Chris Smith who are trying to make a comeback on Tour and who depend on this income for their livelihood.”