clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

JANZEN RALLIES, WINS INTERNATIONAL BY 1

Imagine this: Lee Janzen, the No. 1 player on the PGA Tour in both victories (three) and earnings ($1.3 million), isn't on his country's Ryder Cup team.

Now imagine a change in the Ryder Cup qualifying rules.Janzen revived a controversy on Sunday when he ran off four straight birdies, then sank a 6-foot putt to save par at No. 18 to beat Ernie Els by a point in the International.

Janzen, 30, became the first three-time winner on the tour this year and climbed past Greg Norman to the top of the money list. Still, he was passed over for the Ryder Cup team announced last week.

"I was a little disappointed," Janzen said. "Once you make the team (as he did in 1993), you expect to play well enough to make it again. You win three times and don't make the team, and then there are guys who don't win at all and make the team. I didn't have enough top 10s. Maybe I exposed a few flaws in the (Ryder Cup qualifying) system."

Janzen insists there is no bitterness at not being selected by team captain Lanny Wadkins.

"I had a point to prove, but only to myself," Janzen said. "If I had done this last week, there wouldn't be a controversy, would there? I've got no one else to blame but myself."

Then, joking, he added, "My goal was to be No. 1 on the money list and be the first to do that and not make the Ryder Cup team. So this is a start."

Janzen scored 9 points Sunday for a total of 34 under a modified Stableford scoring system that awards players 5 points for eagle, 2 for birdie, zero for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or worse.

Els, 25, had three straight birdies of his own, and both players birdied the par-5 17th for 34-point totals.

Els, playing one group ahead, drove into the rough on the par-4 18th and left his approach short of the green. He putted 8 feet past and missed the par putt, dropping him to 33 points.

Janzen's 5-iron approach to 18 left him a 40-foot putt which he ran 6 feet past. But he made the come-backer.

"I liked it when I hit it," Janzen said. "You just have to believe in yourself."

Janzen felt the key to his round was getting up and down from a bunker for birdie at the par-5 14th, which started his birdie binge.

Second-round leader Mark Wiebe and third-round leader Jay Haas tied for third with 28 points. Rookie David Duval, who led for much of Sunday's play, finished at 27. Tom Watson, bidding for his first tour victory since 1987, and Jose Maria Olazabal were at 26.