Invited Celebrity Classic

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Irving, Texas, USA

Las Colinas Country Club

Tony Romo

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Tony, thanks for joining us. Welcome back as the defending champion. Going into this week, what is your mindset as you look to defend your title here?

TONY ROMO: Well, I hope it's to defend the title so I can come back and say defend the title again next year. But it's really just one of the great events I play in. Lake Tahoe has always been a special event for my family, and this event is getting to be one of those that you just put it on the calendar and book it. You know it before the year even starts. I think that's a testament to everybody who runs this tournament because it's so well done. You have so many fans and people who get excited about it. It's just a really enjoyable experience.

Q. You've seen this tournament grow from the first year. What is it about coming here, when you tell people to come, other celebrities, what do you tell them --

TONY ROMO: I don't tell anybody. I think somebody else tells them. But there's only so many tournaments that -- you know Mardy Fish is going to be in it in the end. You know Annika is going to be there, some of the normal names. It's kind of like a little rivalry in a fun way because we all love each other, but it's really enjoyable because you know there's a chance this is going to be like Lake Tahoe, and this is one of the majors basically for some of these type of people.

I feel like the talent has gotten so much better from when I first started. They're the usual suspects, but I think now you've got eight, ten, 12 guys who can consistently win and have a good weekend, and you saw Steph do that at Lake Tahoe last year.

I think that's good for the game. We were talking on the way home, I was like, that's going to be a positive because the more guys who can get in the mix and actually win it.

But this feels like a major now. I think not every tournament is run as well and has things set up for you that are really first class.

Q. How is your game at the moment?

TONY ROMO: Hopefully pretty good. Signs of life in the old bear on the range and playing, but we'll see this weekend. I feel confident going in. I've had to work hard with the putting a little bit, and I think that's started to come on in this off-season a little bit, so we'll see if that can show signs.

Q. What do you love about the game so much, and do you find yourself thinking about the game of golf often when you're not playing golf?

TONY ROMO: Yeah, I find that I'm slightly obsessed sometimes when I get -- my wife would call it a -- well, I told her and then she used it against me, but a joyful obsession, which is true. It's one of those things where golf, different than other sports, because there's so many different avenues to get off. In other words, it's not just one plane. So when you throw a football, your shoulders and your arms, things that can work on the same play, you throw a ball higher, they're here -- in golf you can't be rounded, you can't be vertical. You're a little bit of both. And on top of it your body weight, the club, the hands, the wrists, everything. What happens is it's a process that I've really enjoyed going through because it's a chess game. It's just a -- there's a domino after a domino. You have to have your sequence correct. Then it's like don't thing but then it's not correct, and then it's do thing. I've gone through all these phases and I think I'm starting to figure it out just a little bit more.

In football, you threw a ball every day, you got better, and then you figured things out, and then eventually something clicks and you know it.

In golf, it's like you've got it, but then that doesn't work or it doesn't feel the same way.

The idea is to change, I feel like, the way you think about trying to improve or what it entails. I know that's a lot, but basically you've got to figure out a way to simplify this whole sport and make it simple while still improving because usually people in golf stay the same. Even when they're like, don't think. Okay, well, you'll be the same next year. You have to do something. So the idea to do something while doing nothing. That's the secret.

Q. You got an exemption into the Nelson with another guy like Scottie Scheffler, then were paired in the same group. What do you make of what he's been able to do?

TONY ROMO: Yep, played with him the week before the Masters.

Q. So that's why he won.

TONY ROMO: Totally.

Q. What do you make of what he's been able to do?

TONY ROMO: Oh, man, I can't say enough about Scottie. I honestly believe there's guys who have their time in the sun, and we see it as time periods were guys are like, wow, they're amazing. Now, they're still great and stuff, but it's so hard to sustain over a long period of time like Tiger did, Jack did, Hogan. These guys are generational.

I think Scottie is that guy. He does not have a weakness. Almost anybody I play with, there's a weakness somewhere. Something is going to prop up at the wrong moment when the course or when the wind is this way with the flag on this side, under pressure. There's things that you can tell you're getting away with that.

I don't think I've ever played a round of golf with Scottie Scheffler and him not break 70, ever. Which is insane. Like now I'm actually starting to count it, where I am like, we've got to be around 500, and I'm like, not one day you're off in golf where you shoot 70, 71.

It's because he's had days where he's played poorly, and he's 1-over after 6, and I'm like, he should be 7-over. Then the next day he's 7-under after 6. He all of a sudden gets it back, and he just -- the next shot, he has the ability to auto correct. It's like his pitches -- he's one of the best pitchers ever. His short game is incredible. If he putts well -- remember Tiger? If he putts well, he wins. If not, he's in the mix.

His ball-striking last week before the Masters, it reminded me of when Mark O'Meara talked about Tiger shooting 59 at Isleworth, and they come out the next day like the week or two before the Masters, and he comes out the next day, and he goes birdie, birdie, and he makes a hole-in-one on the third hole, which is a hard par-3. Mark said I'm out of here, I'm not playing against you. Then he leaves, and Tiger goes and shoots 40 on the front nine, and he sees Mark and Mark tells the story that he tells him, pretend like you're going against me back at Isleworth, and he takes off and wins going away.

But I remember thinking playing with him at Brook Hollow, oh, my gosh, I have not seen a guy hit a golf ball like this since Tiger back in the 2000s when I played with him, the way he was striking the ball, the compression, the trajectory, the spin rate. It was impressive, and I was like, he ain't losing that tournament.

Q. When you see Scottie, does he remind you of Steph Curry, Mahomes, when they start taking over their sport?

TONY ROMO: Yeah, golf is hard. I mean, it's hard to be dominant. I picture it like Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods. It's really hard to get in that company. But the fact that we're even saying that this kid has a chance shows you everything you want. If you knew him, you'd love him. He's the best kid around, one of the best human beings ever meet. I love his heart, his spirit, his love of the Lord. He's really fun to be around. He plays golf, goes home to Meredith, they talk, and then he comes back and plays some golf again, and he enjoys life.

I think you appreciate that. He works really hard.

Q. We see you sign a lot of autographs out here. What kind of experience do you hope to create for the fans here?

TONY ROMO: Well, I think just in my nature, I always want people to enjoy themselves, have fun. For me, I always feel really supported. It makes you want to do better for other people.

That's happened here multiple times. I think I was way back last year going into Sunday and I played one of my best rounds of the year, if not the best in a tournament under pressure and shot in the 60s on Sunday, and I remember just every fan, everybody just rooting you on, just going crazy and everything. It just makes it one of the special days you'll remember in your career.

Q. You talk about Scottie; when you see Jordan who had success early, as an athlete, how is that going from here to there? Golf humbles you and you're trying to find a way to get back?

TONY ROMO: That's why I say, I truly believe Jordan Spieth will be back in the mix with Scottie at some point. I think he's obviously an incredible player. But he's shown he could do it in the past. It's just hard when something goes away. This is what I was saying before. It's hard to dissect what that thing is that you had that maybe isn't as easy to do as it once was.

But I think Jordan Spieth is a lot closer than people realize of taking off and becoming a guy who can win majors and do what he did before.

I think what Scottie is doing right now is kind of -- you remember Spieth almost won four majors in a year. He literally could have won all four, which is insane. Someone still has yet to do what he did.

To me, I see signs of Jordan getting back to that sooner than later.

Q. You played the position, obviously. How hard is it to be a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys?

TONY ROMO: I think any professional -- playing professional sports is difficult on anyone mentally. It's taxing because you come up here, and if I say the wrong thing or something, someone gets affected. Now, I'm pretty old, so to me, I'm like, yawn -- you create a turtle shell over the years and you just be like, just go play. Just get better. Just go play and win. That solves everything. We can talk about it all day long, but it's like, how's your game. Amazing. No one says that in golf. Just go play, and just get out there and show everybody. That's the job for anyone who plays professional sports. A lot is on the plate of the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys for Dak. He's going to take the brunt of it like most quarterbacks do in any city. Cowboys obviously have -- when you play in the most nationally televised games, more people watch, things that Jerry has helped build are incredible. That's a positive for the National Football League, for every player, for every coach, everything.

Sometimes people talk about it as a negative. I don't. This is a positive for everybody -- the more eyeballs is a positive thing.

I think one area is just getting past that hump, that spot that is very difficult. You're going against good teams every year, and it takes a really good combination of coach, player, team, and sometimes a random bounce of a ball, which you don't want to depend on.

But so much of it is upstairs. You've got to be able to handle it, take it, digest it, learn from it, and then go make it your own and become great. If you can handle all that, you have a chance.

Q. How do you think Dak does with that, being his teammate for a year and then being around him --

TONY ROMO: Honestly, I think that I went through a lot of what Troy went through just without the Super Bowls. Which I would have died for 50 different times. But I feel like Dak, Troy, me, Roger -- if you look at the arc of the career, there's similarities in what happens in the negative times. Like the things I see, read, everything, I'm like, I've been through that, Troy has been through that, Roger has been through that, Don has been through that. It's just part this process. If you can understand that as a player, it's like, okay, this is part of it. I sat there and told Patrick before the season, if you -- Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan -- when you become so dominant, you become somebody that is not -- Patrick Mahomes is like the nicest human being. He's like the most caring, he's the most talented. He's the ambassador of football, and it's a great thing. But he keeps winning. So people are like, oh, he won again. So he goes from the guy you root for that's young -- I'm like, this is exactly how stories go. This is not brand new. This is what happened to Michael Jordan, to Tiger Woods, and then you get old and you retire, and they're like, man, he was amazing, I rooted for him every game.

But sometimes people tune in just to see him lose because he's created that by being so dominant. That is amazing for the sport, amazing for him, and people start to care the other way. They're like, I want the underdog. People like the underdog. So that's just the pattern of human beings. Same thing for quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. You're going to go through each of these steps, and your hope and goal is that one day going through the tough stuff is that you can achieve what you set out to do.

Q. You're obviously somebody who people look up to, respect, admire. Who's somebody you in life -- who's a hero to you in life and why?

TONY ROMO: Oh, man, my dad obviously is number one. I think that him and my mom, there's a scene in for love of the game with Kevin Costner where he looks up, he's remembering, he's old, an old pitcher, he's thrown a perfect game and he reminds himself of when he was young coming up and he looks up in the stands and he sees his parents there cheering. They're gone now, his parents in the movie and everything, and to me I sit there and like -- I could cry at that almost if I wanted to. But just everything they've done, been through and created and just how they did it and how lucky I was to grow up in that environment and have that.

Q. What do you make of the Cowboys, what they've done and not done this off-season?

TONY ROMO: I don't study exactly what every team is doing in the off-season. You're trying to make me on the spot as far as they've done well or not well. If I went and studied it, it would give you a report on it. But my job is not to go study the Cowboys, the Eagles, the Redskins or Giants. I just follow it like you guys do, and if I really care, then I'll turn on the tape and then get to know it and probably help you a little bit. Usually takes someone calling and then when they do, then I'm like, all right, let me take a look and then I'll tell you. I don't even know what they've done.

Q. Do you think you could go back today and play for the Cowboys?

TONY ROMO: I could go back and I'd last about two plays.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
143552-1-1002 2024-04-18 21:20:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129