Ken Venturi, 1964 U.S. Open champion, dies at 82

By Dan Loumena

8:05 PM EDT, May 17, 2013


Ken Venturi, a San Francisco native and the 1964 U.S. Open golf champion, has died. He was 82.

Matt Venturi says his father died Friday afternoon at a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after a two-month battle with a spinal infection, pneumonia and an intestinal infection.

Venturi is best known for his only major victory when he battled oppressive heat and humidity to win the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., by shooting 66-70 on the final day. He also was runner-up in the 1956 and 1960 Masters.

Venturi, who won the California State Amateur title in 1951 and '56, overcame a stutter and survived a car accident in 1961. After his playing days, when he won 15 times on the PGA Tour, he became a renowned golf analyst.

“I’ve seen people over the years who not only tell me I won the Open, they tell me where I won it, what I shot and exactly what I did,” Venturi said in an April 2011 interview. “There aren’t many Opens where everyone can tell you all about it.”

Venturi, who turned 82 on Wednesday, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last week as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.