Janzen Hurting But Ready for Accenture


Carlsbad, Calif. - Lee Janzen came to town Monday feeling great. After all, Janzen had played well enough this year to get to No. 64 in the World Rankings and land a spot in the World Golf Championships ' Accenture Match Play Championship. The sun was shining at LaCosta in Southern California after rains throughout Sunday, and Janzen was ready to play.
Except for one thing ' his health. Janzen doesnt want to linger on it, but pain is shooting down his right leg, his left knee is hurting, and his neck has this crick in it. He isnt in his 20s anymore ' hes 37 - and his body is beginning to feel it.
Go tell Sergio I might withdraw, and I can barely walk, he said, then broke into a laugh. Jansen meets Sergio Garcia in a first-round match. Number 1 Tiger Woods meets Australia's Peter O'Malley, who is ranked No. 68 in the world but got in through drop-outs to the schedule.
I guarantee you I will be ready to go by Wednesday, though, said Janzen. Actually, it doesnt matter who you are going to play. Every player in this field got here because they can play. Youve just got to be ready.
The 64 players begin play in the first round Wednesday, with the 32 winners meeting Thursday. The field will be cut to 16 Friday with the eight victors playing Saturday morning, then the semifinals match Saturday afternoon. The championship will be a 36-hole affair Sunday, along with the third- and fourth-place match.
Janzen hopes he will be there, physical condition permitting. It doesnt bother me at all when I swing, he emphasizes. But I can feel it when I walk.
The problems began at the tournament San Diego a couple of weeks ago when he decided to get a massage. I did something to my neck, he said. Actually, I went home (to Orlando) and got some treatments and its a lot better. Im in decent shape ' honestly. But I could be better. Im not ready to run any 100-yard dashes.
To make matters worse, he banged his knee again while he was getting out of the shower Monday morning. How does he feel now? I will be fine, he reiterated. Just getting old, I guess.
Janzen started at the season at No. 106 in the rankings and dropped to No. 116. He rebounded with a tie for fourth at Phoenix to start the upward climb. This week he stands No. 64 on the World Rankings with tournament withdrawals vaulting him further up on the ladder.
He went back to the basics at the first of the year, ignoring the rankings and everything else and concentrating on doing the little things.
Ive worried my entire career about the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup, the top 30 (for the season-ending Tour Championship), said Janzen, who has two U.S. Opens on his resume. It seems Ive been on the bubble so many time in my career. But Ive decided the best thing to do is to take it one shot at a time.
Janzen has a sneaky habit of coming up big when the odds are against him. Both Open victories were long shots. And in the 1997 Ryder Cup, he went against Spaniard Jose Marie Olazabal in Spain and pulled out a gigantic victory.
Attitude really makes a difference, he said with a shrug.
Meanwhile, a decision is about to be made concerning the location of next years Accenture. It was held last year in Australia the first week on January and more than 40 players opted to withdraw. A decision was made to leave the tournament in the United States for the future.
Was Australia a mistake? To some degree, absolutely, tournament director Michael Garten told the San Diego North County Times.
But having learned that lesson, it practically makes more sense to be in the U.S. and most likely the West Coast.
That means that most likely the Accenture World Match Play Championship will be held here next year.