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Venturi, US Open champion and CBS analyst, dies

May 18, 2013 • Entertainment


File-This June 20, 1964 file photo shows Ken Venturi making the final putt on the 18th green during the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. The former U.S. Open champion has died just 12 days after he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He was 82. His son, Matt Venturi, says he died Friday May 17, 2013 in a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Venturi had been hospitalized the last two months for a spinal infection, pneumonia and an intestinal infection. (AP Photo/File)

Ken Venturi, who overcame dehydration to win the 1964 U.S. Open and spent 35 years in the booth for CBS Sports, died Friday afternoon. He was 82.

His son, Matt Venturi, said he died in a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Venturi had been hospitalized the last two months for a spinal infection, pneumonia, and then an intestinal infection that he could no longer fight.

Venturi died 11 days after he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

He couldn’t make it to the induction. His sons, Matt and Tim, accepted on his behalf after an emotional tribute by Jim Nantz, who worked alongside Venturi at CBS.

“When dad did receive the election into the Hall of Fame, he had a twinkle in his eye, and that twinkle is there every day,” Tim Venturi said that night.

Venturi was all about overcoming the odds.

A prominent amateur who grew up in San Francisco, he captured his only major in the 1964 U.S. Open at Congressional, the last year the final round was 36 holes. In oppressive heat, Venturi showed signs of dehydration and a doctor recommended he stop playing because it could be fatal. Venturi pressed on to the finish, closed with a 70 and was heard to say, “My God, I’ve won the U.S. Open.”

He had a severe stuttering Login to read more

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