Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Completely Understanding the Tony Romo Experiment

You may or may not know this, but Tony Romo is a football player. A pretty dang good one, actually. He is the starting quarterback (the toughest position in the game, mind you) for the Dallas Cowboys, the most popular football team in the world. So, it wouldn't be crazy to say that Romo has the most looked on jobs in the National Football League. That whole world is his job.

On Monday in Houston, Romo took a minute away from check-downs and cornerbacks to attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open, arguably the toughest golf tournament in the world. He didn't make it. "Failed," as some people in Philadelphia are sure to say. That is, if you really don't have a good grasp of this golf game. For Tony Romo, his play on Monday was as impressive as anything he has ever done on the football field.

"How is that possible," you ask? I understand that he withdrew after the second round was pushed back to Tuesday, because he had optional Cowboys practice and either wanted to make sure he was there in Dallas or didn't want to get all the criticism he'd land for picking golf over football (you have to remember, he had a chance to Monday qualify for the Byron Nelson a couple of weeks back but had more OTAs, so pulled out of that event as wel).

What is impressive is how well Romo can play under these types of conditions. In local qualifying, the tournament within the qualifying tournament, Tony withstood other great players in a playoff to make it to the sectional qualifying on Monday. There were 36 golfers and only two plane tickets to Pebble Beach, and after 18 holes, Romo was very much a factor. He had shot a one-under 71 after making a jitter-induced triple-bogey on his 5th hole. He had only one bad hole the entire first round, and went in as just one of 12 golfers to finish under par after the first leg.

A 71 might not impress you, since you see those numbers tossed around PGA Tour events like grass clippings, but this man doesn't play professional golf. Hell, he doesn't even play much competitive golf except in his offseason. He was going up against major championship winners, PGA Tour veterans and excellent mini tour and amateur competition.

You have to take your hat off to Romo for his attempt, and success. Most people don't understand the difficulty of trying to make it to the a U.S. Open through this route, and Romo was within sight of doing so.


courtgolf said...

The OTA's were a convenient excuse to avoid talking about the crooked numbers on the first two holes of the second round. He was borderline after round one, and his rough start in round two made it pretty clear that he wasn't going to make it. "sorry guys, have to head to Dallas for practice."

Not trying to disparage the guy - he got TO the sectionals - which is more than 99.5% of all golfers will ever be able to claim. Just having the handicap to be allowed to enter the local quali's is more than almost that same percentage of golfers can claim.

Come on, Tony - you can be a Cubs fan now..."Wait 'til next year !"

Mike said...

The thing that really impresses me (besides dealing with the sometimes unrealistic pressure of the Cowboy fans) is that Romo isn't making lots of little mistakes. Rather, he's making one or two big mistakes. Those aren't necessarily swing problems -- they may simply be strategy problems. If that's the case, he can fix those... and then he may seriously have a shot at a golf career after his football career.