On the bright side, Tony Romo shot a 76 on Thursday in the first round of the Byron Nelson in Dallas. It was the best score he’s ever posted in the five PGA Tour rounds he’s played in his life and was under the total of 77.5 set by Vegas oddsmakers.

On the less-bright side, he’s 13 strokes off the pace set by first-round leader Denny McCarthy, who shot a 63 on a Trinity Forest course rendered defenseless by the lack of wind. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback will need all the magic he can summon to make the cut Friday, giving the faintest of hope to the 46 brave souls who wagered on him to win the tournament at 10,000-1 odds at the Las Vegas SuperBook.

Romo attracted a sizable gallery throughout the day, which is to be expected of any beloved Cowboys player taking part in a PGA Tour event in Dallas. And though his tee shot on the par-5 first hole went right, he was able to recover and make birdie.

Romo really got the home crowd going at No. 7, when he chipped in from nearly 66 feet for eagle. At 1 under for the day, this thing of his looked less like the lark of a retired professional athlete and more like something that maybe could actually happen.

Alas, it was not to be. After a par at No. 8, Romo hooked his next tee shot into the native area for a penalty and then missed a five-footer that would’ve saved bogey. He then finished his last six holes at 5 over. For the round, he hit only 6 of 14 fairways and reached only eight greens in regulation.

“A couple of those tee shots really cost me just because they’re penal in those areas,” Romo said of his round, which was played on his home course. “You can’t miss them there. The separation between these guys is the ability to do it for long stretches, consistency. I think just a few tee shots cost me the round.”

“I thought I was going to drive it much better than I did,” he continued. “That’s why we weren’t able to continue to keep the pace we had early. That’s going to be the key moving forward, just getting yourself in the position to attack these pins and some of these holes. Otherwise, you’re trying to fight against the grain the entire time.”

On the bright side, Romo got to play in front of his wife, his sons and his dad, Ramiro, who all got to watch him take part in a professional sport without worrying that he’ll come home injured.

“Probably some of the bad shots, you live and die with them,” Ramiro said. “The good ones, you’re just happy. I’ve played enough golf with him and know how good he is and how good he can be. He’ll acclimate.”

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