Tony Romo will make PGA Tour debut via sponsor's exemption

FRISCO, Texas -- Over the years, Tony Romo has attempted to qualify for the PGA Tour's AT&T Byron Nelson tournament as well as the U.S. Open without getting into the field. Next month, however, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback will make his PGA Tour debut.

Romo was given a sponsor's exemption to play in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic from March 22-25.

The event runs the same week as the World Golf Championship-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, which features the top players in the world.

The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship had been a Web.com event.

"Just as an athlete, I think you always want to play and compete," Romo said Wednesday from Pebble Beach, California. "Obviously, I have a passion for golf and I've been doing it at different tournaments throughout my life. I think it's an honor to be presented with that opportunity and get a chance to play with some of the best players in the world and get to test your game and see what you got."

Romo is playing in this week's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, paired with Will Zalatoris. In the past, Romo has played the event with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. Zalatoris made his PGA Tour debut two weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

Last spring, Romo did not make it out of local qualifying for the U.S. Open, shooting a 75 at Split Rail Links & Golf Club in Aledo, Texas. In 2010, Romo made it to the sectional qualifying round and shot a 71 in the first round; but he had to withdraw when a weather delay forced the postponement of his second round, which then would have conflicted with a Cowboys practice.

Back injuries late in Romo's football career curtailed his attempts to qualify for big events, but since retirement, he has been able to play more after becoming CBS' lead NFL analyst.

Could Romo envision a second career as a professional golfer?

"You never know how good you are until you go play and perform, and ultimately, the odds going against these guys are not great. I think we all know that," Romo said. "But I think that's what makes it really fun and enjoyable, and I also think the challenge that's presented is what a competitor really wants.

"I think that's what you always want to be around or be a part of. So I know it's about your own game and about improving. That's all you're trying to do is consistently improve and get better, but you can learn being around these guys and competing against them, and I think that does make you better."