Deep Thoughts With Two-Time U.S. Open Champ Lee Janzen
The two-time U.S. Open champ, 50, sounds off on his musical deficiencies and why his jokes don’t always land as he intended.
Are there any young players on tour that remind you of yourself?
[Pauses] Let’s see. Who out there acts immaturely and makes a lot of birdies? [Laughs] Not sure about that one. I’m most impressed with Jordan Spieth, though. You don’t see any kids that age with that kind of maturity. There are plenty that age with talent like he has, but that maturity is rare.
If you could see any live musical act with front-row seats, what would it be?
Rush. I’ve seen them right there. I’ve seen their sound checks, I’ve seen them front row. I’ve sat on the side of the stage, 3rd row, 12th row. They’re professionals. I’ve been to between 15 and 20 shows.
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to play golf for a living?
In my ninth-grade civics class I wrote a report about the difference between a golf professional and a professional golfer. And if the teacher knew nothing about golf, she would have thought that a professional golfer’s life is the best life ever.
Do you have any secret talents?
I just took up paddle tennis. It’s fun. It’s something athletic, and I still have the chance of running into a wall and bruising myself.
Is there anything you’re terrible at that you wish you could do better?
Definitely singing. Any musical instrument, or singing. And probably dancing.
In the book about your life, what’s the title?
Which actor would play you in the movie?
Well, it would have to be somebody with talent to mimic some of the things I do. And he would need curly hair too. Probably Justin Timberlake.
Is there something about you that’s often misunderstood?
My sense of humor, for sure, is often lost and taken in the opposite direction.
Is there a certain phrase or term that you overuse?
“You gotta be kidding me,” which I say on the golf course every day, multiple times.
This article appeared in the most recent issue of SI Golf+ Digital, our weekly e-magazine. Click here to read this week's issue and sign up for a free subscription.