Ken Venturi, U.S. Open Champion Turned Renowned Golf Commentator
Venturi, who won the U.S. Open under arduous circumstances in 1964, overcame a stammer to become a television fixture for decades.
Ken Venturi, a onetime professional golfer who won the U.S. Open in 1964, and later became a top golf commentator on television, died May 17, 2013, in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 82.
According to news reports, Venturi had been hospitalized the last two months for a spinal infection, pneumonia and an intestinal infection.
Venturi's death came just 11 days after his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame. During his professional golf career, he won 14 tournaments between 1957 and 1966. His career was cut short by circulatory problems in his hands.
The pinnacle moment of his playing career came in 1964, at the U.S. Open, held in Bethesda, Maryland. when he overcame oppressive heat and humidity that nearly caused him to collapse, and won the tournament.
Hampered by carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, Venturi retired from professional golf in 1967. A year later, CBS Sports Producer Frank Chirkinian hired him as a commentator. Venturi, who overcame a stammer earlier in life, proved to be an excellent fit, and remained with CBS for 35 years. He retired in 2002.
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