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Romo receives spot in Tour event in Dominican Republic

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Former NFL quarterback Tony Romo has received a sponsor exemption into the PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.

The event, scheduled for March 22-25, is played opposite the WGC-Match Play. This tournament has been played as a event each of the past two years.

“As a professional athlete, the love and thrill of competition never entirely leaves you,” Romo, 37, said in a release. “Outside of my family and football, golf is one of my greatest passions. So, playing and competing in a PGA Tour event is a dream come true.

“I am grateful to the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship for giving me an incredible opportunity to test my skills against some of the best on Tour.”

The PGA Tour has been reluctant to offer sponsor exemptions to athletes from other sports since a disastrous appearance by Mark Rypien at the 1992 Kemper Open. Rypien, a Super Bowl hero for the Washington Redskins, shot 80-91 at the D.C.-area event and finished last – by 13 shots. 

Romo is a plus-0.3 handicap. To qualify for an unrestricted sponsor exemption on Tour, amateurs need to have a USGA handicap of 0.0 or better. Any unusual requests – such as Romo’s – would also need to be approved by the Tour.

This announcement was teased recently by his CBS Sports broadcast partner Jim Nantz, who said: “He’s going to play in a Tour event. … He’s going to put it out there on the line.”

Another athlete, NBA star Steph Curry, made a splash last year, on the Tour. He shot rounds of 74-74 and missed the cut by 11 shots, but his 36-hole total score was the second-lowest by an athlete from another sport in that circuit’s history.  

Romo is playing as a celebrity in this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, but he has other big-time tournament experience, having teed it up in three U.S. Open qualifiers. 

Fellow Dallas resident Jordan Spieth has played plenty of rounds with Romo over the years. He was asked Wednesday for a scouting report on his game: “He’s playing really well. His short game is fantastic. It’s really impressive. … His muscle memory, his hand-eye coordination is really special.

“I have no doubt he’ll shoot under par every round out here from where they’re playing from. He’s really excited for the challenge, and he wants to beat the pros that are in his group. That’s kind of his goal. He thinks he can win this golf tournament if he played it with us.”