2019 AT&T Byron Nelson scores: Tony Romo starts hot, but fades down the stretch at Trinity Forest

Through seven holes of their respective rounds at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Thursday, Tony Romo was 2 under and Denny McCarthy was even par. Romo ended the day 5 over and T148. McCarthy ended the day 8 under and in solo first. A 13-shot swing in 10 holes. Life comes at you fast.

Romo, playing in his hometown on the PGA Tour for the first time on a sponsor exemption, birdied his first hole of the day to get started on the right foot. As the wind picked up on the afternoon wave (Romo had one of the last tee times), he bogeyed the fifth before chipping in for eagle at the par-5 seventh to get his round to 2 under and he celebrated like he'd just won a NFL playoff game!

It didn't last.

Romo made two doubles and three bogeys the rest of the way to shoot a 5-over 76. He tied three golfers (including Luke Donald) and beat four others, but it wasn't the round he envisioned, especially after that tasty start.

"I thought I was going to drive it much better than I did," said Romo, who finished No. 154 in the field in driving. "That's why we weren't able to continue to keep the pace we had early, and that's going to be the key moving forward is just getting yourself in position to attack these pins and some of these holes. Otherwise, you're trying to fight against the grain the entire time."

Romo clearly takes this entire experience seriously and actually showed some classy touch at times around the greens. But competing for money against Jordan Spieth on a Monday at Trinity Forest and standing next to a bunch of guys who do this for a living are completely different things. Romo, who said he's been working like a tour pro on his game for a while now, still lacks the longevity to succeed at this level for an extended period of time.

"You work hard enough to put yourself in a position to hopefully continue to improve," Romo said. "I've improved from two months ago. I got to continue to get more consistent and trust it."

"I think I could play well," he added. "Just the consistency aspect. Takes time. Like I said, I've been practicing at this over a year. Like anything, you got to continue to get better and improve. You have the ability and you know how you to improve, you can get there. So, there's signs of life. We'll say that."

Romo noted that he was heading to the range to get the kinks worked out with his driver, where he lost over four strokes to the field on Thursday. He likely won't have many more drives to hit this week as he'll have to have a miracle round just to sniff the cut line. 

Thursday wasn't a disaster for Romo like it could have been. But it was a reminder of the separation that exists between PGA Tour pros and elite amateurs. Heck, he might bounce back on Friday morning and shoot a 65 or 68, but the hardest part -- maybe the impossible part, like Romo mentioned -- is doing that day after day after day.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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