BOB WEST ON GOLF — Romo adds tall twist to his golfing exploits

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo consistently shines as an NFL analyst alongside Jim Nantz on CBS. His latest pearl of wisdom came in what was expected to be a high-scoring shootout Sunday between Buffalo and Kansas City.

After he’d seen one offensive series from each team, and the ensuing defensive approach, Romo told viewers the final score was going to be much lower than anticipated. Once he’d dispensed that information, he predicted the final was going to be 24-20.

Buffalo wound up winning, 24-20.

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Romo’s real passion beyond football, as many sports fans know, is golf. A scratch golfer, he’s played in several PGA and Korn Ferry Tour events on sponsor exemptions and made his mark in the highly competitive American Century Celebrity Championship in Lake Tahoe, winning it three times.

His latest golf highlight is worth mentioning, not only because of the bottom line but because of a high school senior he appears to have taken under his wing.

Romo and Tommy Morrison of Frisco High School recently teamed for a best ball 63 in a qualifier at Winter Creek Country Club in Blanchard, Oklahoma. The 63 tied for medalist honors and earned them one of two available spots for the U.S. Amateur Four Ball Championship in May at Kiawah Island.

Morrison, who has committed to the University of Texas, is unique in the golf world because of his size. Arguably the world’s tallest good player, he stands 6-10 and may still be growing. Proof of his potential is a runner-up finish this past summer in the prestigious North-South Amateur at Pinehurst.

Among the names on the North-South trophy are Jack Nicklaus, Curtis Strange, Davis Love III and our own Chris Stroud.

Height and golf greatness have seldom gone hand in hand. Most of the game’s best players, starting with the 5-10 Nicklaus, were under 6 feet. Arnold Palmer was 5-10, Ben Hogan 5-9. Tiger Woods did stretch out to 6-1. The best semi-tall player of consequence, Dustin Johnson, is 6-4.

Phil Blackmar, at 6-7, was for years the game’s tallest player of any note. But Blackmar was a journeyman at best.

Morrison, meanwhile, could be on the cutting edge of inspiring players with basketball bodies to consider golf. Closest thing to him size wise is 6-9 South African James Hart du Preez. Hart du Preez used his massive swing arc to average 373 yards off the tee on South Africa’s Sunshine Tour in 2021.

That earned him a sponsor exemption into the 2022 PGA Tour American Express Championship in Palm Springs. The American Express, of course, is the event PN-G ex Andrew Landry won in 2020. Hart du Preez did not fare well, missing the cut and beating only one of 154 players in the field with rounds of 76-74-74.

He did, however, finish No. 1 in the field in average driving distance at 324.8, a number which included one blast of 407 yards.

As for Morrison, it will be interesting to watch his development. Romo obviously saw something special in him, as does the University of Texas. That’s two pretty good endorsements.

CHIP SHOTS: Many of the golf industry’s top club makers will be offering complimentary fittings in the area within the next week. Included are TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, PING and Cleveland/Srixon.

TaylorMade will be at Babe Zaharias from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. To get signed up, call the golf shop at 409 722-8286.

5 Under Golf Center in Beaumont will host Titleist from noon to 5 p.m. and PING from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday. The Cleveland/Srixon fitting is set for noon to 5 p.m. Friday. Callaway will be at 5 Under from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

To schedule an appointment, call 409 232-0205.

Corporate tournaments and weather limited the regular games at Zaharias to last Wednesday’s Dogfight. In an all-points-count format, three teams tied for first with 29 points.

Sharing the top prize was the team of James Vercher, Cap Hollier, Dale Carter and Gary Anderson, the foursome of Ron LaSalle, John House, Darrell Mouille and Dwayne Benoit and the team of Earl Richard, Paul Duplantis, Larry Johnson and Keith Marshall.

Closest to the pin winners were Jim Cady (No. 2, 4 feet, 8 inches), Vercher (No. 7, 12-11), Bob West (No. 12, 22-5) and Glenn Judice (No. 15, 4-8).

Fred Couples served up a blast from the past in the Champions Tour’s SAS Championship. Couples, 63, and winless since June of 2017, closed by birdieing 12 of his final 14 holes for a 12-under-par 60 and a six-shot victory at 20-under 196.

The 60 on the par 72 layout Prestonwood Country Club layout in Cary, North Carolina was Couples’ lowest tournament score covering 2,172 rounds on the PGA Tour and 420 on the Champions Tour.

Golf news should be e-mailed to rdwest@usa.net