Born: August 28, 1964
Height: 6 ft
Birthplace: Austin, Minnesota
College: Florida Southern University
Turned Pro: 1986
Lee Janzen was born in Austin, Minnesota but moved with his family, first to Maryland and then Florida when he was 12-years old. In Florida, Janzen began playing both golf and tennis year-round.
Janzen decided to focus exclusively on golf and received a scholarship from Florida Southern. In 1985 and 1986, Janzen led the school to the NCAA II championships. In 1986, Janzen was the individual medalist.
In 1990, Janzen began playing on full-time on the PGA Tour. Janzen played well enough to keep his tour card, two top tens in each of his first two seasons, but didn’t break through until the 1992.
Janzen won the Northern Telecom Open in February 1992 with a final round 65 to defeat Bill Britton by a single shot. His next win would come nearly a year later at the Phoenix Open.
Five months after his win at Phoenix, Janzen was probably not on anyone’s short list as a favorite to win the U.S. Open at Baltusrol, but that’s exactly what he did. Not only did he win the tournament, he tied the then 72-hole scoring record (since broken by Tiger Woods) on his way to defeating runner-up Payne Stewart by two shots.
Janzen won another big tournament in 1995, defeating Bernhard Langer to capture the Tournament Players Club Championship.
In 1998, the U.S. Open was held at Olympia Club in San Francisco. After 54 holes, Janzen was again in the mix but trailed the leaders by five shots as play began that day. Janzen once again edged Payne Stewart to win his second U.S. Open by a single stroke. Janzen’s rally from five down, was the biggest Sunday comeback at America’s national championship since Johnny Miller’s performance at Oakmont in 1973.
His U.S. Open win was Janzen’s last on the PGA Tour before joining the Champions Tour in 2014.