Tony Romo tries out, for the U.S. Open

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MATT BONESTEEL The Wash­ing­ton Post

Tony Romo is done play­ing foot­ball, for all we know, but he’s once again chas­ing a cham­pi­onship. On Mon­day, he’ll be­gin his sec­ond at­tempt to qual­ify for the U.S. Open golf tour­na­ment.

The first try came in 2010, when he made it out of lo­cal qual­i­fy­ing only to with­draw af­ter 18 holes of the 36-hole sec­tional tour­na­ment be­cause weather de­lays forced a con­flict with Dal­las Cow­boys off­sea­son prac­tices (he shot a 71 in the first round). Romo, listed as hav­ing a plus-0.3 hand­i­cap, is one of about 9,500 golfers who have signed up for lo­cal qual­i­fiers, with his 18-hole stroke-play event Mon­day at Split Rail Links and Golf Club, out­side Fort Worth, Texas. He’s hop­ing to be one of the 156 golfers to move on to sec­tional qual­i­fy­ing on June 5 at 10 cour­ses around the coun­try.

A USGA spokesper­son told the Fort Worth Star-Tele­gram that qual­i­fiers will com­prise about half of the 156-golfer field at this year’s U.S. Open, to be held next month at Erin Hills in Romo’s home state of Wis­con­sin. The other half will be filled by pro golfers who meet one of the var­i­ous ex­emp­tion re­quire­ments.

At one point early in his NFL ca­reer, Romo said golf was his backup plan. He en­tered his sec­ond sea­son in Dal­las as the No. 4 quar­ter­back on the depth chart, be­hind Quincy Carter, Vinny Tes­taverde and Drew Hen­son, and strug­gled dur­ing the early por­tion of train­ing camp.

“That’s when I sat in bed and I just prayed to the Lord, and this was a very defin­ing mo­ment for me,” he said in 2016. “I was like: ‘If I’m not meant to be the quar­ter­back here or play quar­ter­back in the NFL, that’s fine. Then I’m go­ing to go back and be a re­ally good as­sis­tant golf club pro­fes­sional back in Burling­ton, Wisc.’”

Romo didn’t do any­thing be­sides hold on kicks that sea­son, but he started 10 games in his third sea­son and was named to the first of his four Pro Bowls. The in­cum­bent as­sis­tant golf pro in Burling­ton, Wis­con­sin, was safe.

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