The tournament has altered the scoring for this year's competition, making it the only event on the US PGA Tour to use the modified Stableford points system.
The system gives two points for a birdie, nothing for par and a minus point for a bogey with greater punishments and rewards for good shots, such as five for an eagle and minus three for a double-bogey or worse.
While Romero made the early pace on 14 points, South Korea's Noh Seung-yul was a point further back after his round included seven birdies and a bogey.
A trio of Americans were three points off the lead with Josh Teater, Ricky Barnes and John Mallinger all on 11 points.
Two-times Major championship winner John Daly was one of a quintet of players on 10 points after he made birdies on the 17th and 18th holes.