Tony Romo has been showered with plenty of love since announcing he’d walk away from football.
But he’ll have to earn his way to the U.S. Open the hard way.
Romo, 37, will try to take his first step in local qualifying Monday at Split Rail Links & Golf Club in Aledo. Romo is listed in the USGA’s database of 9,485 entrants, the fifth-most entrants in U.S. Open history.
The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. on Monday with Fort Worth residents Mike Rausch and David Lutterus. Split Rail said the qualifying is open and free for the public to attend.
If he advances through local qualifying, Romo would then have to earn a spot in the 156-man field in sectional qualifying held on June 5 at 10 sites across the country.
The U.S. Open will be held in Romo’s home state, Wisconsin, for the first time with the championship going to Erin Hills in Erin, Wisc. June 15-18.
This is not the first time Romo has attempted to get a coveted spot in the field. He advanced to sectional qualifying in 2010, shooting a 69 at The Honors Golf Club of Dallas in Carrollton during local qualifying, but had to withdraw from sectionals because weather delays conflicted with Cowboys practices.
He also was an entrant in 2011 and 2012, although he did not play in 2012.
Romo, who was honored by the Texas House on Wednesday and by the Dallas Mavericks in April, is listed as having a plus-0.3 handicap. To be eligible for qualifying, players must have a handicap not exceeding 1.4, or be a professional.
Local qualifying is based on an 18-hole stroke play score. Sectional qualifying is based on 36 holes of stroke play.
As of now, 51 players have are fully exempt into the tournament. USGA spokesman Brian DePasquale said in an email that about half of the 156-player field will be exempt and half will earn a spot through qualifying.