With Father's Day two days away, I sat down with Matt to get his musings on the weekend ahead.
DF: So what have you got planned for this weekend?
Matt Lauer: I do the same thing every year. I tell my family that I'm more than happy to do a great breakfast, and all that stuff, but I really like to just go without plans.
Because of the schedule we all work during the week, there's nothing better to me than a weekend with nothing planned.
So hopefully on Sunday that will be the course of the day. We'll have a little lunch, maybe take a ride on the boat, maybe hit a few golf balls, sit by the pool, and just relax. For me, it's about getting to spend some uninterrupted time with family.
DF: And a little time with the final round of the U.S. Open?
ML: I have to say that starting around 5 o'clock in the afternoon, I'll be making frequent trips to the TV room. I really do want to see it this year. Having just played that course, I have an extra amount of interest in it. And since it's being played on the West Coast, it's going to go late and go into early prime time.
It's one of my favorite events every year, and it's actually too bad that it's on Father's Day, because it's a real conflict. But yeah, I'll be near the set on Sunday, seeing who comes down the home stretch. There's a great finishing hole at Torrey Pines that will make a huge difference.
DF: A finishing hole where you had one of your better moments last week.
ML: I actually made a par on the 18th hole from the championship tees, which was one of only two pars all day. So anyone who bogeys that hole, I'm going to be laughing and scoffing at during the tournament. But yeah, it's going to be fun to watch.
DF: You've talked about how much of an impact your father had on you, and in particular, how he passed on to you his passion for golf. Have you tried to pass that on to your kids yet or are they still a little too young?
ML: Jack is about the right age. He's a sports fanatic. When he was three and four years old, he was obsessed with airplanes. Then at five and now six, it's like someone flipped a switch -- all he cares about is sports. Baseball in the summer, basketball in the winter, football in the fall. He loves it. So almost by osmosis, he's picked it up.
In terms of golf and fishing, the two things that were my dad's passions that he passed on to me, he loves getting to go out to the course with me. Fishing, we do a little bit of. But I think it's going to be another three, four, five years before I find out if it's a passion for him. And I'm not going to push him.
If it's baseball over fishing or basketball over golf, that's fine with me, too. As long as he feels strongly about something and is driven to participate, that's all I really care about.
DF: Have you gotten him on the golf course to play with you?
ML: We haven't played a round, but we've played a few holes together. What's interesting about Jack at almost seven years old, is that a lot of kids at his age -- what they really want to do is ride the golf cart. Jack's not like that. He wants to walk the fairways, he wants to hit balls. So I think that bodes well for him actually liking the game, not just what goes with the game.
DF: What are the chances that your wife and kids sit with you on Sunday to watch the U.S. Open?
ML: None. My wife has no interest in watching golf on television. And I don't think Jack -- and I know Romy and Thijs -- don't either. So that's the kind of thing that I'll sneak off by myself for a few minutes.
The one sport that we've made a family affair the last couple years is that we do watch the Triple Crown. The kids all pick the names of horses out of a hat, and then they root their horses on. So we've just finished a fun five-week period where we've all gone kind of crazy with it.
DF: Were they disappointed when Big Brown didn't win the Belmont?
ML: Jack was disappointed because randomly, he got Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby, two weeks later randomly from the hat got Big Brown in the Preakness, so he was two-for-two. And then for the Belmont we kind of rigged it so that he and Romy would share Big Brown, since she was really starting to get devastated.
So he had Big Brown and another horse, she had Big Brown and another horse, and of course, Big Brown didn't win...but Jack's other horse did! So he didn't win the Triple Crown, but he won all three races.