TYLER, Texas (KETK) Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had quite a gallery behind him as he played round one of Texas State Open Tuesday at The Cascades Country Club.
Although, he got off to a bit of a tough start, with a bogey and a double bogey in his first four holes, he rebounded nicely with birdies in three of his last four holes of the front nine.
Romo had a total of six birdies on the day to shoot a 69, finishing his opening round at one-under par, six shots behind the leader Kyle Pritchard.
The longtime Cowboys signal caller took time to pose for pictures, and sign autographs with many of the fans that had come out to support him.
“It was wonderful, just having the people from Tyler and everyone out, just, you know, wanted to hopefully give them a few putts and stuff to cheer for, and we did that today,” said Romo.
He added that he began to feel more comfortable on the Rose City course, the more he played despite the muggy morning conditions.
“I was starting to hit the ball as the day moved on. I started hitting it real good. So, it kind of allowed me to be a little more aggressive to some of the flags. In the morning, I was a little tentative, just without having played the course much. And then I started to just, attack I guess you could say a little more. And that helped on the backside for me.”
Romo tees off his second round at 1:24 p.m. Wednesday.
A number of East Texans are in contention beginning with Lindale grad Stetson Mcmillan. The SFA alum is tied for second after firing a five-under par 65.
Bullard’s Blake Elliott is at three-under. Tyler’s Bobby Massa is at one-under. Lufkin’s James Yeates is at even par. And Quitman’s Jeremy Bates is one-over par.
Northern Texas PGA release:
After Round One of the 49th Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open, Kyle Pritchard of Castroville, TX sits atop the leaderboard firing an opening round of 63, 7-under par. Pritchard carded three birdies on the front nine and two eagles on the back. He will tee off of hole #10 tomorrow at 1:42 p.m. Eight players sit two strokes behind Pritchard at 5-under.
“The course sets up really well for me. Definitely need to draw the golf ball. I’m putting really well right now and the greens are rolling perfect. It’s tough to figure out the grain and undulations,” said Pritchard about his round today. “My goals for the week are to pretty much repeat last year. Left a few out there the last round and just want to put myself in that position again.”
Pritchard finished T7 in last year’s event. The 2018 finish earned him the exemption into this year’s Championship.
The Championship experienced a 90-minute weather delay when lightning was within 10 miles of The Cascades Club. Play was halted at 4:40 p.m. and resumed at 6:10 p.m. Round One was completed at 8:27 p.m.
Again in 2019, the Low PGA Club Professional will be recognized at the Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open. Nineteen PGA professionals are in the field with Shane Pearce, PGA head professional at Hurricane Creek Country Club in Anna, Texas, leading. Pearce has a one stroke lead in this division at 4-under-par over Matt Lohmeyer, PGA teaching professional at GolfTec – Montgomery Plaza.
Low Amateur honors will also be awarded at the Texas State Open. Last year’s Low Amateur runner-up and current Texas State Amateur champion Ryan Grider (a) of Lewisville, Texas, presently leads the field of 30 amateurs competing and is sitting at T2. Grider carded a 5-under-par 65 today, while Collin Clark (a) of Midlothian, Texas, is a shot back. Notable amateur Tony Romo (a) finished his opening round at 1-under-par 69.
Curtis Reed, also of Castroville, Texas, made a hole-in-one today on hole #13. He hit a 6-iron from 191 yards for his ace.
The 72-hole stroke play event consists of 156 players comprised of 126 professionals and 30 amateurs. The field will play 36-holes before being cut to the low 55 scores and ties. All four rounds will be contested at The Cascades Club, a 6,882-yard, par 70 layout. For the Championship, hole #10 is being played as a par 4 rather than a par 5.
The purse for the Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open is $200,000, one of the largest state open purses in the country. The champion will win $40,000.
Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Northern Texas PGA Foundation’s scholarship program with the creation of the Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open Scholarship. Lauren James from Judson, Texas, was awarded this scholarship. This year the NTPGA Foundation awarded $406,000 in scholarships to 50 high school seniors from North Texas. The Championship is sponsored by Tanos Exploration II and Patterson-UTI Drilling. It is presented by Joyce Crane and Veritex Bank and is supported by Cavender’s, Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health Systems, Energy Weldfab, Jucy’s Hamburgers and Patterson Tyler.
Round Two will commence on Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30 a.m. After tomorrow’s round, a cut to the low 55 and ties will occur. Currently, 76 players are at even par or better.
Romo (a) will start on #1 at 1:24 p.m. tomorrow. Admission is free to all. Spectator parking is located at All Saints Episcopal School’s football field.