Some guys will never learn.
He’s been given a sponsor’s exemption to tee it up against some of the world’s best players, and unlike his debut in the broadcast booth last fall, his PGA tour debut will end badly.
No, he’s not going to kill a spectator with a shanked 3 iron. Not that kind of bad.
He’s got the game to play at a high level, but this is beyond high. And even if he makes the cut (which he probably won’t) or pulls off a top 10 finish (which he absolutely won’t) it won’t prove much beyond the fact that he can play, but he’s not a player.
First off, he won’t be going up against the best of the best. Those guys will be 2000 miles away playing in the World Golf Championship-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin that same weekend. Romo might as well be 200,000 miles away if we’re going to compare him to those guys.
Secondly, Romo didn’t earn his way in to this tournament. Just like he didn’t earn his way out of last year’s U.S. Open local qualifier. Or when he failed in a Monday qualifier for the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2010.
Sure, every week someone gets an exemption, but they’ve generally earned it in some other way; a past champion, a top local amateur, or anyone who has shown they can win given the right set of circumstances. Romo is not that guy. We need Adrian to scream “you can’t win” at Romo like she did to Rocky before the Ivan Drago fight – only this time, she’d be right.
Finally, Romo still suffers under the impression that because he’s a very, very good player (+ 0.3 handicap) he’s almost as good as the guys on tour. He’s not. Two years ago, Bubba Watson played off a +7.7 handicap, and Phil Mickelson was listed at a + 5.2. And knowing Phil’s propensity for gambling, he was probably sandbagging.
Make no mistake, this is good for golf. He’ll draw viewers and spectators to a sport that’s still trying to fill the Tiger void, just like Stephen Curry did last year at the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic.
But this isn’t the Web.com tour, and to his credit, Romo knows he’s overmatched.
This week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, he said, "The odds going against these guys are not great. I think we all know that. 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."
He might have fun. He might even enjoy himself. But it won’t be a challenge. Not for the guys who are out to beat him at a game they’ve devoted their whole lives to, as opposed to Romo, who is just trying to kill time until he gets back into the booth next fall.
-- By Rob "Hardy" Poole, 98.5 The Sports Hub