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Kenneth Paul Venturi (May 15, 1931 – May 17, 2013) was an American professional golfer and golf broadcaster. In a career shortened by injuries, he won 14 events on the PGA Tour including a major, the U.S. Open in 1964. Shortly before his death in 2013, Venturi was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Born in San Francisco, California, Venturi learned to play golf at an early age, and developed his game at Harding Park Golf Course and other public courses in the Bay Area. He attended Lincoln High School and was the San Francisco high school golf champion in 1948 and 1949. In the early 1950s, he was a pupil of Byron Nelson, and was also influenced by playing partner Ben Hogan. Venturi won the California State Amateur Championship in 1951 and 1956, serving in the U.S. Army in Korea and Europe in the interim. Venturi first gained national attention at age 24; while still an amateur, he finished second in the Masters in 1956, one shot behind Jack Burke Jr., Venturi led after each of the first three rounds in an attempt to become the first-ever amateur to win the Masters, but shot a final round 80 and relinquished a four-shot lead. Through 2021, no amateur has won the Masters.
After retiring from the Tour in 1967 with a total of 14 career wins, Venturi spent the next 35 years working as a color commentator and lead analyst for CBS Sports – the longest lead analyst stint in sports broadcasting history, made remarkable by the fact that he had a stutter, which was less manageable early in life. He retired from broadcasting at age 71 in June 2002, succeeded as CBS’ lead analyst by Lanny Wadkins, then Nick Faldo in 2007.