Ken Venturi, who won the 1964 U.S. Open and later spent 35 years as a television golf analyst, was selected to join Fred Couples in the World Golf Hall of Fame’s 2013 induction class.
Venturi, 81, was chosen in the lifetime achievement category and will be enshrined with Couples on May 6 in St. Augustine, Florida. Couples, whose 1992 Masters Tournament victory was one of his 15 career U.S. titles, was selected last month for induction into the Hall of Fame.
Venturi won 14 times on the U.S. PGA Tour and is best remembered for his U.S. Open victory at Congressional Country Club outside Washington, where he almost collapsed while playing 36 holes on the final day in heat that topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius).
“The last time I had tears in my eyes was when I won the U.S. Open,” Venturi said on a conference call yesterday. “This has been a special day and I’m deeply honored.”
Venturi in 1956 almost became the only amateur to win the Masters, leading for the first three rounds before shooting a final-round 80 to blow a four-shot lead and finish second, one shot behind Jack Burke Jr. Venturi also was the runner-up to Arnold Palmer at the 1960 Masters.
Venturi went into broadcasting after his playing career was cut short by wrist injuries that affected the use of his hands. He spent 35 years as the lead golf analyst for CBS Sports before retiring in 2002.
“Jack Whitaker summed up my life pretty good when he said, ‘Fate has a way of bending the twig and fashioning a man to his better instincts,’” Venturi said. “The one I think about is, I wonder what I could have done if I hadn’t lost the use of my hands.”