Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo says friend Tiger Woods is “as passionate ever”

Tony Romo shot a 3-over 75 during a local U.S. Open qualifier on Monday.
Tony Romo shot a 3-over 75 during a local U.S. Open qualifier on Monday. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo believes it’s only a matter of time before his buddy, Tiger Woods, is competing again at golf’s highest level.

Romo fell short in his bid to play in this year’s U.S. Open, failing to make it through local qualifying with a 3-over 75 on Monday afternoon at Split Rail Links & Golf Club.

But Romo seemed to have no worries that Woods would eventually return to an elite level. Both have undergone multiple back surgeries with Woods undergoing his latest last month.

It marked the fourth time since April 2014 that Woods had his back operated on.

“We talked. He’s obviously gone through it for a long time, same as me with the back stuff,” said Romo, who sustained a compression fracture in his back last preseason and walked away from football after the season.

“I just think he wants to get healthy. He wants to be able to play and just battling it over and over again has always been tough. He’s as passionate as he’s ever been. For him, he’s such a great guy and cares so much.

“But he loves his family and kids, so he gets an opportunity to hang out with them and just be around them. He’s a great dad. So I know he’ll take the time to do that a little bit then he’ll get back to work and do what he always does – put his head down and go back to work.”

Woods, 41, hasn’t played in a major since the 2015 PGA Championship. The 14-time major champion has missed the cut in four of the last five he’s played.

Woods has played in one PGA Tour event this season, the Farmers Insurance Open in January, and missed the cut. He didn’t play in any PGA Tour events in 2016.

Romo, 37, is familiar with back troubles. His preseason injury last August didn’t require surgery, but sidelined him long enough for him to lose his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott last season.

Romo also played in just four games in 2015 after fracturing his collarbone twice; he missed a game in 2014 when he fractured two transverse processes; and he underwent back surgery after the 2013 season.

Romo’s back still stiffens up, too, on the golf course. He noticeably went to the side and did a few crunches as his group played No. 12 on Monday.

Romo said he would have done it more often, but acknowledged it looked “goofy” with a crowd of about 200 following his group.

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