Haney may stalk Romano at ACC golf event | NevadaAppeal.com

Haney may stalk Romano at ACC golf event

Steve Yingling
Nevada Appeal News Service

Hank Haney, golf’s most famous instructor, has some extra time on his hands these days, and that may mean that actor Ray Romano won’t be as fortunate as Charles Barkley.

When season two of the “Haney Project” ends on June 14, Romano might not be able to give his teacher the slip – not even at the American Century Championship set for July 13-18 at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline.

“I’ve threatened to come up there and watch him,” said Haney, who recently parted ways with golf’s No. 1 player Tiger Woods.

Romano, who has followed Barkley as Haney’s second project in the reality TV series on the Golf Channel, apparently thought his summer trip to Lake Tahoe was a family vacation.

“I’m going to have to get a 30-foot restraining order put out,” said Romano during a conference call Wednesday to promote the 21st ACC.

Romano’s threat provoked Haney to firm up his mid-July plans.

“I have plenty of free time. I think I will make it up there,” Haney said.

Perhaps Haney will find the source of a possible third season of the “Haney Project” in the 75-man celebrity field of the ACC.

Haney and Romano have been working toward the Emmy Award-winning actor breaking 80 for the first time in an 18-hole round. While undergoing major retooling in his golf swing, Romano and Haney have seen periods of a higher-level play from the former star of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

“One thing that Hank has taught me is how the swing should be and now we’re working on how to repeat it,” said Romano, who now stars in the TNT series “Men of a Certain Age.” “I feel much more confident with my short game now that I’ve been with Hank. Now when I’m in a bunker I don’t have to panic. Half the problem is knowing what shots to hit.”

Despite his improvements, Romano has struggled with inconsistency in his quest to break 80.

“He’s passionate about it and wants to get better,” Haney said. “He’s worked really hard, and he’s improving.

“There’s been some bright spots. I’m always one who looks for bright spots. His consistency is not there, but when he’s doing better, it’s better than he’s ever done.”

If Romano is unable to break 80 by the “Haney Project’s” season finale, he may need to bend some rules to make it happen during an official round at the ACC.

“The only thing there is that we’ll be playing Stableford, and they want you to pick up after a double bogey,” Romano said. “If I get a good round going, I’ll play everything out. It’s is a scorable course.”

His tournament history at the ACC indicates otherwise. In five previous tournament appearances in the ACC, Romano has finished no higher than 57th place. In his only tournament appearance when all of his strokes were counted, in 2000, Romano shot rounds of 104, 105 and 99 to finish third from the bottom in the 73-player field. Barkley even edged him by a stroke that year.

Romano’s struggle to get better has yet to alter his passion for the sport.

“Even in a bad round you have that spiritual moment where you hit a perfect shot and it flies like it’s supposed to and maybe has some backspin – and I don’t know how that happened,” Romano said. “It’s like a woman. It gives you just enough to make you come back.”

Haney has even suggested that Romano is too serious about the game.

“Ray gets too serious out there,” Haney said. “If he eases up on himself, it comes little bit easier. You can say the same thing about anybody else who plays. At least you know he wants it. More times than not, just have to realize it’s a hard game and you have to cut yourself a little slack.”