Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was given the latest possible tee time, as he requested, for Monday's qualifer for the HP Byron Nelson Championship. One problem: The latest time is 9:57 a.m.
Cowboys OTAs are from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Romo will need a lot of rain to push back all of the tee times and enable him to go out in the afternoon to try to qualify at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club (Hills Course) in McKinney.
Romo said last week that he could only attempt to qualify if he had an afternoon tee time. But because of possible weather delays, the qualifying tournament, which has 85 players competing, has to start early.
"With 90 or less players, the PGA TOUR requires that we tee off in the morning so we have plenty of time to finish the qualifying tournament in case of weather delays and playoffs,” said Mark Harrison, director of operations for the Northern Texas PGA in a release sent out Saturday afternoon. The NTPGA puts on the event each year.
“In a way, Tony was unlucky that a few more players did not enter. If we had a handful more players, we could have accommodated his late tee time request and he would have definitely been able to play after his football commitments. As it stands now, I am sure Tony will be watching the weather during practice Monday morning and hoping for some rain.”
The Nelson is not planning on giving Romo an exemption, though they were pulling hard for him to make it through qualifying with no top 10 players in the world playing in the event. They explained that reasoning this week.
"We're all fans of Tony Romo, and we think it would be great if he qualified for the tournament. But when we look at our sponsor exemptions, we have to think long term," said Nelson tournament chairman George Conant.
"That's why we gave exemptions to Tiger Woods and Justin Leonard years ago, and it's why we've given one to Jordan Spieth, the top-ranked junior golfer in the country and the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur Champion. We also look at pros like Chris Smith who are trying to make a comeback on Tour and who depend on this income for their livelihood."