Like his life and career, Ken Venturi’s long road to the World Golf Hall of Fame was much more than the sum of its parts.
On Monday, in an emotional ceremony Venturi – who played just 237 PGA Tour events, primarily between 1957 and ’67 – was announced as the second member of the Class of 2013 via the “lifetime achievement category.”
And what a life it has been.
Although his career was cut short by wrist ailments, Venturi won 13 times on Tour, including the 1964 U.S. Open, when he closed with rounds of 66-70 on a grueling 36-hole Sunday at Congressional to claim his only major championship.
“This induction is appropriate and in many people’s minds overdue,” said Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
Venturi will be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Fred Couples on May 6, a week before his 82nd birthday.
In 1964, Venturi was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists and played his last full season in 1967 followed by a 35-year career as a broadcaster with CBS Sports, the longest tenure of any on-air analyst.
“I wouldn’t trade being anyone in the whole world,” Venturi said on Monday from Pebble Beach. “But I wondered what could have been had I not lost the use of my hands.”
As an amateur, Venturi led by four strokes through three rounds at the 1956 Masters but struggled on Sunday to a closing 80 and finished a stroke behind winner Jack Burke Jr.