Tee time conflicts with Cowboys' OTAs

Updated: May 16, 2010, 11:34 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

It doesn't look as if Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will even get a chance to qualify for the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

Romo is scheduled to tee off at 9:57 a.m. Monday, which conflicts with his plans to attend the start of the Cowboys' organized team activities.

His only chance is if Mother Nature delays the start of qualifying long enough for him to make it to Stonebridge Ranch Country Club (Hills Course) after he's completed his Cowboys duties.

Romo said last week that he could only attempt to qualify if he had an afternoon tee time. But because of possible weather delays later in the day, the qualifying tournament, which has 85 players competing, has to start early.

OTAs are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., so Romo would need a lengthy delay to get there.

"With 90 or less players, the PGA Tour requires that we tee off in the morning so we have plenty of time to finish the qualifying tournament in case of weather delays and playoffs," said Mark Harrison, director of operations for the Northern Texas PGA in a release sent out Saturday afternoon. The NTPGA puts on the event each year.

"In a way, Tony was unlucky that a few more players did not enter. If we had a handful more players, we could have accommodated his late tee time request and he would have definitely been able to play after his football commitments. As it stands now, I am sure Tony will be watching the weather during practice Monday morning and hoping for some rain."

Romo requested the latest possible tee time, which was granted, Harrison said.

A sponsor exemption for Romo would be an option, but Nelson officials have said they would rather reserve those for promising young golfers or special circumstances with pros.

Romo is scheduled to play with Robert McMillan of Euless and Bryan Baker of Tyler. The top four qualifiers from the Monday tournament will compete in the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club next week.

If the Nelson isn't in the cards for Romo, he still can take a crack at getting into the U.S. Open.

Romo is scheduled to participate in the Open local qualifier at The Honors Club of Dallas, his home course, on Thursday. He hasn't advanced past the local stage of U.S. Open qualifying in two previous attempts.

The Cowboys aren't practicing Thursday. Romo has said that he would skip the Open qualifying if he made the Nelson field.

Richard Durrett covers golf for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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