The Forecaddie: Lee Janzen returns to PGA Tour for one week and one week only

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 17: Lee Janzen hits a tee shot on the first tee during the final round of the PNC Father/Son Challenge at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on December 17, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Manuela Davies/Getty Images) Manuela Davies/Getty Images

The Forecaddie: Lee Janzen returns to PGA Tour for one week and one week only

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The Forecaddie: Lee Janzen returns to PGA Tour for one week and one week only

At 53 years old, Lee Janzen doesn’t hit the ball as far as he used to. It’s not for a lack of trying, though.

“I think I’m in about as good of shape as I could possibly be in, other than I don’t hit it as far, which bothers me,” Janzen told The Forecaddie before teeing it up in the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando. “… I’m changing exercises to try and get more flexibility, doing more speed training. Whatever it takes to try and hit it further.”

TMOF can relate: Long gone are the days of hitting it 300 yards. For Janzen, it’s also been a while since he felt like he could contend week in and week out on the PGA Tour – save for a few events, of course.

“Certain weeks, certain courses, there’s still a glimmer of hope that I can compete,” Janzen said.

One such opportunity comes this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, Calif., which likely will be the two-time U.S. Open winner’s only PGA Tour start of the year. Having not made a PGA Tour cut since tying for 16th at the 2015 Puerto Rico Open, Janzen is low on the priority ranking list these days, buried deep in the past champions category.

“The category that I’m in, every year they reorder it based on how much money you made the year before,” Janzen explained to TMOF. “Well, I didn’t make a dime last year or the year before, so I’m going further down the list.”

Funny enough, though, Janzen was eligible for the CareerBuilder thanks to his victory at the 1995 Players Championship. (Janzen jokes that he was the first guy in the field.) So he’ll give it go, albeit with tempered expectations.

“Right now, there’s still the inkling like if I play well, I can do something,” Janzen said. “There’s a possibility of having a good tournament there (in La Quinta), but there are other courses where I think I’d be at a huge disadvantage and there’s no point in doing it.”

Which is why after he’s done in Palm Springs, his focus is on the PGA Tour Champions, where he’s competed in 75 events since 2014, winning once and notching 14 top-10s. He finished eighth in points last season. His main goal this year is to make a run at the Charles Schwab Cup title.

What would that take, TMOF asks?

“Beat Bernhard Langer; that would be the easiest way to do it,” Janzen said. “If you beat him every week, you’ve got it.” Gwk

 

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