Try as he might, Tony Romo has never made the cut at a PGA Tour event. Frankly, he’s never come particularly close in three tournaments, his best effort an 8-over-par 150 at last year’s Byron Nelson that still fell six shots short on a Trinity Forest course he had played countless times as a member.

Romo was taking another crack at it this week at the Safeway Open in California, and the thinking was that neither he nor CBS Sports would have to worry about him missing Sunday’s NFL game between the Bears and Vikings in Chicago because of his history and because of the fact that the field is surprisingly stout for an early-season tournament: Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas and Phil Mickelson are all on hand. SuperBook USA golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman responded accordingly, giving Romo astronomical 10,000-to-1 odds of winning the tournament, and the Action Network’s Darren Rovell promised to erase himself from Twitter if the former Cowboys quarterback was atop the leader board at the end of play Sunday.

So of course Romo went out and shot a 2-under 70 in Thursday’s first round, putting him in a tie for 28th and only five strokes behind leaders Adam Scott and Andrew Landry. That would be a stroke better than Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, and a full five shots better than Mickelson, who has five major championship trophies, three of them accompanied by green jackets.

Romo seemed to be headed to his usual place at the bottom of the leader board after consecutive bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4 — his 12th and 13th holes of the day — put him at 1 over, but he responded with a birdie at the par-5 fifth and then finished off his round with birdies at Nos. 8 and 9.

Romo rolled in 122 feet worth of putts for the day.

“Same thing I did in football,” Romo told after his round when asked how he cobbled together his round. “You just start from the beginning. You’re not very good, not very good, and then all of a sudden you make the leap somewhere and all of a sudden you can be more efficient and you can do things a little bit better.

“It’s embarrassing to stink,” Romo continued. “I stunk a lot, so just trying to continue to improve and get better.”

Romo missed the cut Friday, which means Rovell’s Twitter account is safe.

“For me, it’s the closest I’ve gotten so far to being able to compete,” he said, according to Golfweek. “For about 24-25 holes, we were in position to make the cut. That’s better than four holes or nine. The goal is obviously to get to 36 and then go from there.”

The full-time PGA Tour golfers on the course seemed to welcome this new challenger this week.

“I need to start making some birdies. I don’t want to lose to a guy that does TV but I did,” Thomas said with a laugh. “No, but it’s awesome. I’m happy for him. It’s a lot of pressure for him to play out here, and everyone’s kind of expecting him to fail and not play well.

“I hope he plays well [Friday],” Thomas added. “It’d just be kind of a smack in the face to all those people that were giving him crap before he teed off. He’s a competitor.”

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