Kevin Venturi, Champion Golfer & Commentator, Dies At 82
Ken Venturi won the U.S. Open in 1964 despite suffering from heatstroke
Kevin Venturi, a longtime golf commentator who won the 1964 US. Open, died on Saturday after suffering for weeks with infections and pneumonia. He was 82.
Over the last several years, Venturi was plagued with multiple health issues. He survived prostate cancer in 2000, only to require quintuple bypass surgery in 2006. Heart problems resurfaced for the onetime golfer in 2011. Over the last few weeks, Venturi had been hospitalized at a Southern California hospital with infections in his back and intestine, in addition to pneumonia. His death was reported by his son, Matt Venturi.
At the 1964 US. Open at Congressional, the temperatures rose into the triple digits. During the 36-hole tournament, Venturi began to suffer from signs of heatstroke, and despite urgings from doctors to quit, he continued on to victory. Due to his outstanding display of drive and athleticism, he was named PGA Player of the Year and also Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year.
Shortly after his U.S Open win, Venturi was forced to retire from the green because of issues with carpal tunnel syndrome. He stayed in the world of golf by getting into broadcasting the sport for CBS. When he retired from the job in 2002, he had been commentating for 35 years, the longest of any profession broadcaster in any sport.
Venturi was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame earlier in May. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; sons Matt and Tim; and four grandchildren.
Watch Jim Nantz's tribute to Ken Venturi below: