Early over/under betting lines on fan-worn Tony Romo jerseys at the AT&T Byron Nelson opened at 4 1/2. Then considerable public money hit the books and pushed the number to 5 1/2, but the over was the lock of the century today at Trinity Forest Golf Club today—there were many No. 9 fans, the over was easy money.
Rare the worst player in the field has the biggest gallery. No offence to Tony Romo, but the other 153 players in the field are PGA Tour players for cryin’ out loud—the best in the world! And they’ve been playing tournaments since American Junior Golf Association. Romo’s focused on golf for a year—just one year! Before that it was a 14-year NFL career which is certainly the worst PGA prep anyone could conceive. His 34,183 passing yards and four Pro Bowls are swell, but he could’ve been working on ball flight control in the wind.
“He’s a very good player. Tournament golf, it is something different. Something that he’s trying to figure out, where the leaves are, how to take away the big numbers, that kind of thing,” Jordan Spieth eloquently said during his Wednesday press conference.
The former Dallas Cowboy finished five over in a tie for 148, but he is unquestionably the worst player in the field. He beat four players, but he’s the worst —no doubt. Romo beat José de Jesús Rodríguez, but based on Rodríguez’s 2019 Valero Texas Open T23 and Desert Classic T28 alone, the nod goes to Rodríguez. He also got Will Claxton by a shot, but Claxton had two top 10’s in 2012 for the win. Romo beat Martin Trainer, but Trainer just won the 2019 Puerto Rico Open in February and has almost $700,000 in earnings this year. Jonathan Byrd lost to Romo, but Byrd’s a three-time PGA Tour winner. The guys he beat have tournament mileage.
Romo went out at even par, but the back nine was fatal—he shot 40. He rolled in a 12-footer for birdie on one and made a Mickelson-esque up-and-in at the second to save par. A bogey at five, but then the eagle chip-in “heard round South Dallas” at No. 7 put Romo at two-under. Early nerve management is prime. But Spieth’s words are wise and Romo makes a double on nine to start the slide. Romo signs for a 76 and day one is official.
Romo only hit six fairways and Trinity Forest is a tough track from the tall Texas native grasses. He speaks with eager journalists after the round, “I got to go hit some tee shots (on the range) that really feel good because, if not, I won’t sleep tonight.”
Denny McCarthy is the leader after round one at the AT&T Byron Nelson with a 63 at -8.