They ended up at the top of the first-round leaderboard Thursday in the Reno-Tahoe Open.
Romero, from Argentina, had seven birdies in a bogey-free round to finish with 14 points and take a one-point lead over Noh in the PGA Tour’s first modified Stableford scoring event in six years.
Noh, a 21-year-old tour rookie from South Korea, had seven birdies and a bogey in the system that rewards aggressive play.
Players receive eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double bogey or worse.
Josh Teater, John Mallinger, Ricky Barnes are tied for third with 11 points at Montreux Golf & Country Club. John Daly had six birdies and two bogeys for 10 points to match Hunter Haas, J.J. Henry, Danny Lee and Patrick Cantlay.
Former Augusta State star Patrick Reed and former Louisville, Ga., resident Brian Gay each had four points.
Romero, who tied for second in the Memorial in June, won the PGA Tour’s 2008 Zurich Classic and also has eight international victories.
It was the first time he has played in the Stableford format, which was last used on tour in 2006 in the final year of The International in Colorado.
“It’s unusual to see scores on the board like (plus) 14 or 12 or whatever,” Romero said through an interpreter, adding that it also was unusual for him to finish a round without a bogey. “I usually have a lot birdies and bogeys as well. I’m usually very aggressive.”
WEB.COM TOUR: In Omaha, Neb., rookie Luke Guthrie, Bubba Dickerson and Aaron Goldberg shot 9-under-par 62s to share the lead after the opening round of the Cox Classic at Champions Run
Jim Herman shot 63 and is in fourth place while former Georgia standout Russell Henley, Fabian Gomez and Nate Smith are tied for fifth after 64s.
Five others are knotted at 65 as the par-71 layout played to an average of 68.929 and 110 players in the field of 156 shot below-par scores.
Augusta’s Scott Parel opened with 68 and is tied for 55th. Aiken native Matt Hendrix had 73 and is tied for 141st.