Who's who: Ken Venturi

  • Photo of Ken Venturi
  • usa.png
  • Photo of Ken Venturi
  • usa.png

Who's who: Ken Venturi

  • Name:

    Kenneth Paul "Ken" Venturi
  • Country:

    USA
  • Lived:

    [1931-2013]. Born on May 15, 1931 in San Francisco, California. Died on May 17, 2013 in Rancho Mirage, California (aged 82).
  • Original/Home Club:

    Harding Park GC, San Francisco.
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer; golf broadcaster & commentator; founder Ken Venturi Golf Academies.
  • Turned Pro:

    1956

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (1): US Open (1964). Walker Cup player (1953). Ryder Cup player (1965). Presidents Cup captain (2000). Total professional wins (15), including PGA Tour (14). Old Tom Morris Award (1998, GCSAA). World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 2013).

Did you know?

Venturi, who was a pupil of Byron Nelson and was also much influenced by Ben Hogan, first caught the golfing world's attention at the 1956 Masters Tournament. Aged 24, and still an amateur, he led after each of the first three rounds. A final round 80 put paid to his chances of becoming the only amateur to win The Masters; he finished in second-place, just one shot behind Jack Burke Jr. Venturi retired from the Tour in 1967 with a total of 14 wins, and started a 35-year career as a much admired golf commentator and analyst on television. In addition to his television work, Venturi also became involved in course design and golf instruction schools.

Top tournaments won by Ken Venturi

1966
America
273 (-11)
$8,500
Lucky Lager

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Score

273 (-11)

Prize money

$8,500

Title sponsor

Lucky Lager

Played as the Lucky International Open (Jan 28-31). Second-placed Frank Beard (USA) finished 1 shot behind 34-year-old Venturi (USA), who recorded the last of his 14 PGA Tour wins ... on the course where he learned the game. [Harding Park GC, San Francisco, Calif. Now known as TPC Harding Park].

1964
America
Wethersfield CC
273 (-11)
$7,500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Venue

Wethersfield CC

Score

273 (-11)

Prize money

$7,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Insurance City Open (July 23-26). Second-placed Jim Grant (USA), Al Besselink (USA), Paul Bondeson (USA) and Sam Carmichael (USA) finished 1 shot behind Ken Venturi (USA). [Wethersfield CC, nr Hartford, CT].

1964
Awards
x
n/a
PGA of America

Category

Awards

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Venue

Score

x

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

PGA of America

Venturi (USA) won the PGA of America Player of the Year Award (based on points allocated for PGA Tour wins, money-list position and scoring average).

1964
Majors
278 (-2)
$17,000
USGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Score

278 (-2)

Prize money

$17,000

Title sponsor

USGA

The US Open (64th) (Jun 18-20). Second-placed Tommy Jacobs (USA) finished 4 shots behind Venturi (USA). Venturi only got into this US Open after playing in local and sectional qualifying events. [Blue course, Congressional CC, Bethesda, Maryland].

1964
America
275 (-5)
$7,500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Score

275 (-5)

Prize money

$7,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the American Golf Classic (Aug 20-23). Second-placed Mason Rudolph (USA) finished 5 shots behind Ken Venturi (USA). [South course, Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio].

1960
America
North Hills CC, WI
271 (-9)
$4,300
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Venue

North Hills CC, WI

Score

271 (-9)

Prize money

$4,300

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Milwaukee Open (Aug 25-28). Second-placed Billy Casper (USA) finished 2 shots behind Ken Venturi (USA), who recorded his second win in this event, and tenth PGA Tour win overall. [North Hills CC, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin].

1960
America
286 (-2)
$4,000
Bing Crosby

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Score

286 (-2)

Prize money

$4,000

Title sponsor

Bing Crosby

Played as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am (Jan 21-24). Second-placed Julius Boros (USA) and Tommy Jacobs (USA) finished 3 shots behind Venturi (USA). [Pebble Beach Links, Monterey Peninsula, CA. Earlier rounds also at: Cypress Point Club and Monterey Peninsula CC].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Score

278 (-6)

Prize money

$5,300

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Los Angeles Open (Jan 2-5). Second-placed Art Wall Jr (USA) finished 2 shots behind Venturi (USA). [Rancho Park GC, Los Angeles, CA].

1959
America
Almaden G&CC
281 (-7)
$1,500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Venue

Almaden G&CC

Score

281 (-7)

Prize money

$1,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Almaden Open (Nov 19-22; non-PGA Tour event, predominantly played by pros based on the West Coast). Second-placed Bob Rosburg (USA), George Bruno (USA), Jimmy Clark (USA) and Ken Still (USA) finished 6 shots behind Ken Venturi (USA). [Almaden CC, San Jose, CA; now called Almaden G&CC].

1959
America
Gleneagles CC, IL
273 (-7)
$9,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Venue

Gleneagles CC, IL

Score

273 (-7)

Prize money

$9,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Chicago Open (June 25-28). Second-placed Johnny Pott (USA) finished 1 shot behind defending champion Ken Venturi (USA). [Gleneagles CC, Lemont, Illinois].

1958
America
Gleneagles CC, IL
272 (-8)
$9,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Venue

Gleneagles CC, IL

Score

272 (-8)

Prize money

$9,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Chicago Open (Aug 1-4; last played in 1948). Second-placed Julius Boros (USA) and Jack Burke Jr (USA) finished 1 shot behind Ken Venturi (USA), whose 60-foot birdie putt on the 69th hole turned the tide in his favour. [Gleneagles CC, Lemont, Illinois].

1958
America
269 (-15)
$1,500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Score

269 (-15)

Prize money

$1,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Thunderbird Invitational. Second-placed Jimmy Demaret (USA) and Gene Littler (USA) finished 4 shots behind Venturi (USA). [Thunderbird CC, Rancho Mirage, CA].

1958
America
Phoenix CC, AZ
274 (-10)
$2,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Venue

Phoenix CC, AZ

Score

274 (-10)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Phoenix Open Invitational (Jan 30-Feb 2). Second-placed Jay Hebert (USA) and Walter Burkemo (USA) finished 1 shot behind Venturi (USA). [Phoenix CC, Phoenix, AZ].

1957
America
Tripoli CC
267 (-13)
$6,000
Miller Brewing Co.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Venturi, Ken

Venue

Tripoli CC

Score

267 (-13)

Prize money

$6,000

Title sponsor

Miller Brewing Co.

Played as the Milwaukee (Miller) Open (Aug 22-25). Second-placed Sam Snead (USA) and Al Balding (Can) finished 5 shots behind Ken Venturi (USA), who recorded his second PGA Tour win, having landed his first in the St Paul Open a week earlier. [Tripoli CC, Brown Deer, nr Milwaukee, Wisconsin; from 2016 called the University Club of Milwaukee].

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