Ron Kroichick from Venturi's hometown paper reports the news of the 82-year-old former U.S. Open champion and Hall of Famer's passing.
**A heartfelt statement from CBS's Jim Nantz:
“He was one of the finest gentlemen the world will ever know and one of the greatest friends you could ever have. He was a deeply principled man with a dynamic presence. He just exuded class. Through his competitive days and unequalled broadcasting career, Kenny became a human bridge connecting everyone from Sarazen, Nelson and Hogan to the greatest players of today's generation. Kenny faced many adversities in his life and always found a way to win. When I hear Frank Sinatra's "My Way," I will always believe that Ol’ Blue Eyes was singing that song for his close pal, Kenny Venturi. It makes me think of him every time. On his farewell broadcast in 2002 I told him, ‘You will be, always by my side.' Five years later I wrote a book about my Dad and father figures in my life. I named the book after that very moment. I'm so happy he lived to know he was going to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. I will cherish my 17 years working with him. But more than that, I will treasure the rich, personal, deep friendship that we shared for nearly 30 years.” – CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz
World Golf Hall of Fame statement regarding Venturi:
On behalf of the Members, staff and volunteers of the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum, we are saddened to learn of the passing of Ken Venturi. He was one of golf's iconic figures, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Ken's family.
Ken made an unforgettable imprint on the game we love. He was a fantastic player, and captivated the nation with his thrilling victory in the 1964 U.S. Open. For 35 years in the broadcast booth at CBS, he was the warm, friendly voice millions invited into their homes to share his unique insights.
To honor him, the United States flag at the Hall of Fame will be lowered to half-mast and a special tribute will be created in the Museum. When Ken learned he would be a part of the Class of 2013, he said, "The greatest reward in life is to be remembered." The Hall of Fame and golf fans everywhere will never forget the impact Ken had on the game.
-- Jack Peter, Chief Operating Officer, World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum