Former U.S. Open Golf Champ, SF Native Ken Venturi Dies
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS Sports/AP) — Former PGA Tour golfer and longtime CBS Sports broadcaster Ken Venturi died Friday afternoon at the age of 82, according to his family.
His son, Matt Venturi, said he died in a hospital in Rancho Mirage. Venturi had been hospitalized the last two months for a spinal infection, pneumonia and an intestinal infection.
Aside from his notable broadcasting calls, Venturi’s biggest accomplishment on the golf course came when he won the 1964 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Despite scorching heat, he shot 66-70 on the final day of the tournament (which included 36 holes), marking the only major championship of his career.
Venturi was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame just last week, but he was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness. He was inducted under the Lifetime Achievement category.
A San Francisco native, Venturi won 14 PGA Tour events before retiring in 1967.
Venturi was all about overcoming the odds. Not only did he win the 1964 U.S. Open despite playing with severe dehydration, he also overcame a stuttering problem as a kid in San Francisco to spend 35 years in the broadcast booth with CBS Sports. He also was the Presidents Cup captain in 2000.
(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco and CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.)