Tony Romo is in position to make the cut for the first time in a PGA Tour event. After opening with 2-under 70 on the North Course at Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif., Romo is one more decent round away from playing the weekend at the Safeway Open.
Romo, who finished his round in a tie for 20th place, said the key to his best-yet score in a PGA Tour event was his work on the greens.
"Every time I play in one of these events, get lucky enough to get an exemption, kind of get a chance to see what you're not good at. Very apparent was putting over the last year," Romo said. "So just a lot of work put into it and, I've been putting well, so it was nice to come out here and keep that going."
Romo, who was yet to break par in three previous starts on exemptions into PGA Tour events, also said he is figuring out when to attack the golf course and when to play for solid scores.
"I think you're always attacking. If you have the game and hitting good shots, there's green light flags and there's Xs out there," he said. "I just played smart on some of the holes where pin locations were really difficult, just tried to commit to spots and where I was aiming. I controlled my ball today."
For the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current CBS Sports lead NFL analyst, the challenge is clear. Romo has to finish inside the top 65 players and ties after 36 holes to get through to the weekend, per the PGA Tour cut rule. The 36-hole cut rule has changed for the 2019-2020 PGA Tour season, changing from the long-time rule of the top 70 and ties down to the top 65 and ties. While five players may not seem like a whole lot, those extra five places could turn out to be the difference between Tony Romo making the cut and missing the weekend.
If Romo does make the cut, he will get to play the final two rounds of the Safeway Open on Saturday and Sunday. Obviously, during NFL season, Tony Romo has a job to do on Sundays, sitting alongside Jim Nantz in the CBS booth for their top-tier game. If Romo makes the cut, he'll be unable to play in the PGA Tour event and be in the broadcast booth.
CBS and Romo have a contingency plan in the event the former signal-caller and current excitable color commentator isn't available. If Romo makes the cut, he'll be able to play out the tournament at Napa, while long-time CBS analyst Boomer Esiason would step into Romo's place for this Sunday alongside Nantz.
If Romo makes the cut, he might well be costing himself money. Romo is competing in the Safeway Open as an amateur, as he typically does when he plays competitive golf. Amateur golfers are ineligible to win money from the prize pool of a professional golf tournament, meaning Romo is playing for the experience of competing alongside the best golfers in the world, not for a paycheck.
Still, the prospect of being around away from making the cut in a PGA Tour event is an exciting one, as Romo said, "It's a good problem to have."