Tony Romo returns to play at Azalea

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo returned this year to play in the Azalea Invitational at The Country Club of Charleston.  

Romo, who this fall will take over as the lead NFL analyst for CBS, previously played in the Azalea from 2008 to 2012.  He took a break from the tournament after experiencing back injuries in 2013. 

This year he was back in the field of one of the top amateur tournaments in the country, along with his father, Ramiro. Tony was consistent, shooting 78-77-77 over the first three rounds of the tournament, but it wasn’t enough to make it to the final round. He finished 11 strokes off the cut mark. 

Romo had a rough start with a double bogey on his first hole in the tournament, but rebounded right away with a birdie on No. 2 and got back to even with another birdie on No. 5. He finished 1 over on the front, but stumbled on the back with four bogeys and a double.  On day two, he managed three birdies and finished a stroke better. On day three, he had his highest score on the front nine (40), but came back with his lowest score on the back nine (37). 

For the tournament, Romo finished with 7 birdies, 26 pars, 17 bogeys, 3 double bogeys and one triple, which came on the par 3 11th.  Romo birdied the par 5 5th in each round.

During the second round, Romo had one particularly avid fan walking along the course with him. Dallas Johnson, an accomplished local junior golfer and huge Dallas Cowboys fan, watched Romo’s every shot, applauding many of them.  Romo acknowledged the support and casually chatted at times with Johnson, who was dressed in Cowboys gear. Johnson said it was a special treat to watch one of his favorite NFL players out on a golf course.

Before Romo became one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, he considered the possibility of a career in golf. Romo, who was undrafted, has said if he hadn’t make it through his first NFL training camp, he would have gone back to Burlington, Wisconsin and become an assistant golf professional. 

Of course, he did make it through that camp and went on to play 14 seasons in the league. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and was the top rated passer in the league in 2014.  He announced on April 4, a few days after competing in the Azalea, that he was stepping away from the game to pursue a broadcast career with CBS. He will work as the color commentator along side Jim Nantz.