Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
In the second year of playing at Trinity Forest, the AT&T Byron Nelson opened play with a field of some top players, but Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Tony Romo seemed to be the biggest draws of the day. Yes, you heard that correct, Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys star was teeing off.
Romo, is not playing in a Pro Am here, he is playing as an amateur and competing under a sponsors exemption, and did have his shares of ups and downs to start the first round, but he did hit a eagle and celebrated as he had just thrown a game winning touchdown one more time.
No shocker here that a player who has barely made a name for himself on the tour has found his way to the top of the leaderboard for day one. Denny McCarthy, shot a -8 under in what is a super tight field behind him.
“It’s tough out here,” McCarthy said. “This is my second year. I’m still kind of learning the ropes a little bit. Everyone is so good — the courses are tough and everyone is so good out here. You just really need to be physically and mentally sharp every single week when you tee it up on Thursday.”
For a guy who has just one Top 10 this season, McCarthy, played flawless golf on this saturated course. He was 2 over through five holes before dialed his game in and finished course with 10 birdies on his final 13 holes.
The guy that everyone is saying has a chance to make moves this weekend is Brooks Koepka, who finished the day at -6, which is great considering how little he has seen of this course prior to today.
Koepka didn’t even see the first nine holes on the golf course — he didn’t play a practice round this week — until he played them in 33 strokes on Thursday. He added 32 more on the back for a 65 in Round 1 from (by far) the highest-ranked player in the field. He’s T4 alongside Jonas Blixt and a host of other players.
“The last few weeks I’ve been even impressed with myself and how well I’m striking it,” Koepka said. “Controlling it nice and then from there just try to feel like you see some putts go in the hole. I think it’s important to kind feel like the hole is opening up with a major [next week].”
Lastly, we can’t forget about the guy who had one of the biggest followings of day and that was former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Tony Romo, who is playing as an amateur under a sponsors exemption.
Romo, started out with a tee shot to the right that he had to use a iron shot to get on the green and he was able to do so with a birdie on that hole. He would later Eagle and celebrate with a fist pump much to the delight of his wife Candice and his three sons who looked on.
Jordan Spieth had his troubles on a couple of holes, but says it was better than last week so its a start.
“For me, it was a couple over today [on the last 10 holes],” Spieth said. “But it was off of really just kind of one bad tee ball, otherwise it was really solid. I’ve been in the last groups on Saturdays and I could have told you guys ahead of time it’s just a matter of time. This is different. I feel good. I feel like I’m really in the right place. It stings because it may not show given the conditions that our wave faces. That’s okay. I take it better next week over this week.”