SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Tony Romo attempted to play, but a wrist injury forced him to withdraw Thursday morning from the Korn Ferry Tour's Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club.
Playing on a sponsor's exemption, Romo began his PCCC first round on the 10th tee shortly after 9 o'clock. He was 1-over-par after four holes, and he picked up his ball after his second shot on No. 14.
"There was a shot on the third or fourth hole today that I re-aggravated it to the point where I couldn't really hold the club." he said. "I tried to go through, and I just couldn't. It takes a lot for me to withdraw, but that was the point where I just couldn't (play). When healthy, I'd been playing pretty good. I'm excited for the chance to show that moving forward, but I feel bad that i wasn't able to go out here this week and be healthy and perform."
Romo did not play in Wednesday's pro-am — the first sanctioned pro-am on any PGA Tour since COVID-19 stopped play in March — in hopes he'd be able to play all four tournament rounds.
"I got a cortisone shot (last week). and I had been doing four to six hours a day of treatments," Romo said. "My wrist had been getting better and better. I was able to swing more freely on Tuesday. I hit three drivers at about 80-90%, which made me believe that I could actually play in the tournament.
"I was really excited about this golf tournament. It was the one Korn Ferry I was playing. I want to thank Jerald (Andrews, tournament executive director) and Price Cutter for allowing me to be a part of this."
"The tournament appreciates Tony trying to grit it out today and being here," Andrews said. "Like everybody, we wanted to see him play all the way to the finish, but health is the most important for any athlete. We hope Tony gets healed and keeps trying to chase his dream to play professional golf."
Romo, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and now an NFL analyst with CBS Sports, injured his left wrist at the American Century Celebrity Championship two weeks ago in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
"On the range, 10-15 minutes before my tee time, my driver broke," Romo said. "The top of the face broke off, so I kind of hyper-extended it. I had a little pain there, almost as if you fell down backwards on a skateboard or snowboarding. I kind of held it together a little bit, and then I hit a wedge shot, and it was a signal to me that my wrist wasn't strong enough to hold onto the club. I shouldn't have probably finished that second round, the last five or six holes but you just wanted to get through, thinking it was something small. It turned out to be something more severe ... torn cartilage and there is a possibility of something else. We'll have to figure out exactly what it is."
Romo's father introduced him to golf.
"My dad gave me golf clubs for my birthday when I was 8," he said. "I never practiced or anything. I just went out and played nine holes with my dad, and that got me interested in golf. My dad loved it, and I loved being out there with him. That was a special bond and has been ever since then. It's where golf is a very unique sports. You're able to play until you're 80 years old ... play with your kids or your dad.
"I started really practicing three years ago. Once I retired (from the Cowboys) I started to commit to it and treat it like football."
Romo, a three-time Ohio Valley Conference player of the year at Eastern Illinois, signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cowboys in 2003. He played his entire 14-year career with Dallas, and he still holds several team records, including touchdown passes (248) and passing yards (34,183).
Romo's 127 career starts are second in team history behind Troy Aikman (165), and his 78 victories as a starter are third behind Aikman (94) and Roger Staubach (85).
He retired after the 2016 season after a preseason back injury caused him to lose his position to Dak Prescott. He was hired by CBS Sports after retiring and joined play-by-play broadcaster Jim Nantz to form the network's No. 1 team. In February this year Romo signed a contract with CBS through the 2022 season for a reported $17 million per year — the highest ever for a TV analyst.
Ten years from now when he is 50 years old, does Romo see himself in the television booth or on the PGA Tour Champions?
"I think I'm always going to do the television booth because I really enjoy our team," Romo said. "Jim Nantz, CBS, Jim Rikhoff (producer), Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter), these people have been very special to me. It's almost like a second family. It's like your team. I'm always going to be a part of that. It's something I'm very lucky to do post-football career.
"Obviously golf competitively I enjoy that a lot. I've improved quite a bit in three years. When healthy I'd like to see where we're starting to get to."
Romo said he doesn't discuss the NFL until the season arrives, but he did have high praise for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
"Patrick Mahomes is a generational talent," Romo said. "He's a kid who has rare ability, and when you have a guy like that ... he's really good for the NFL. When a quarterback is that genuine — I really think he's a genuine nice guy — who works really hard and has incredible talent ... to me, you just root for guys like that."
So, with 20 of 22 starters back, are the Chiefs the team to beat this season?
"That's your guys' discussion," Romo said. "I'm not in the prediction business. I'm not a very big predictor."