Cowboys’ Romo, Ex-Pitcher Smoltz Are Among Applicants for Golf’s U.S. Open

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and former Major League Baseball pitcher John Smoltz are among 8,300 golfers applying to play in June’s U.S. Open.

Romo, who won a four-man playoff to reach the final qualifying round for the 2010 tournament before withdrawing due to a weather delay, will be trying for the third time to qualify for golf’s second-oldest major championship. He never has made the field.

The 31-year-old quarterback will take part in the 18-hole local qualifying round at Stonebridge Ranch and Country Club in McKinney, Texas, on May 9. He would then need to advance through a second 36-hole qualifying round to compete in the U.S. Open, to be played June 16-19 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

The U.S. Open field will consist of 156 players, including 65 who are already exempt. To be eligible for qualifying, amateurs must have a handicap index -- a measure of a golfer’s skill in relation to par -- no higher than 1.4. The deadline to enter was April 27.

Smoltz, who retired from baseball after the 2009 season with the Boston Red Sox, has failed in previous attempts to qualify for the U.S. Open.

Earlier today, the 44-year-old Alpharetta, Georgia, resident shot a 12-over par 84 in the first round of the South Georgia Classic. He received a sponsor’s exemption to play in the event on the Nationwide Tour, a professional circuit one level below the U.S. PGA Tour.

Smoltz will compete in local qualifying for the Open at the River Club in Suwanee, Georgia, on May 17. The second qualifying round would be held June 6.

Graeme McDowell, who captured the 2010 Open at California’s Pebble Beach Golf Links, is among eight former champions exempt into the event.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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