I was once told by a great Tucson journalist that trying to qualify for the U.S. Open was like trying to successfully catch lightning in a bottle. For the first time in Tony Romo's life, he might be excited to go up against the Chargers.
Romo shot a 2-under 69 on Thursday at the local qualifying course in Dallas to advance to sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, the final leg before Pebble Beach. Romo was one of seven golfers to get out of The Honors Club of Dallas still alive in this crazy chase, and the fact that he can do all this while focusing on a whole other sporting career is something we should be talking more about.
See, a couple of weeks ago I was one of those thousands of golfers trying to make it out of local qualifying. It was my second year to try it out, and I failed, as to be expected. My golf game isn't sharp and my career focus is more in Times New Roman, not Titleists and TaylorMade. I try to qualify because it's a fun little thing to do, but going out and posting a 78 isn't going to get me anywhere but slamming a trunk.
While I'm not one of the names people should be impressed by, thousands of mini-tour golfers that play this game for a living fail to make it out of local qualifying. A ton of collegiate golfers, one with whom I played with last Monday, didn't make it another day.
It takes a certain type of golfer, confident in his game, to make it this far.
Romo didn't just get into the sectional qualifier June 7 at The Club at Carlton Woods, just north of Houston, he had to make it out of a playoff in the dark. While there are thousands of playoff jokes to be made at Romo's expense, it should say a lot that he can live up to all this pressure and make it through.
Think about it — of every person trying to make it to Pebble Beach through this route, Romo is probably the most famous, and most followed. The pressure he faces isn't that of checks and made cuts, but every little thing he does on the golf game can be and will be compared to his play on the football field.
Say Romo had lost in that four-man playoff for three spots. Websites like Twitter would have erupted with one-liners about his inability to get out of the first round.
As we've seen with Jerry Rice, being a good golfer and being a competitive golfer are two completely different things. Romo shooting 69 should be something we all praise, even if the shirt we sport has a green Eagle on it (OK, OK, maybe not, but it was worth a try).
- Tony Romo