San Francisco Golfer And SJSU Alum, 81, to Join PGA Hall of Fame

The PGA Tour announced on on Sunday that Ken Venturi - who graduated SJSU in 1953 - would join the class of 2013 Golf Hall of Fame.

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    The Washington Post/Getty Images
    Potomac MD, May 19 : Ken Venturi, a former professional golfer and announcer who won the U.S. Open at Congressional in 1964. Standing near the 18th green, he was touring the course to make a video about the key holes he played to win the 1964 Open at Congressional Country Club, in Potomac MD , May 19, 2011. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

    An 81-year-old San Francisco native, former San Jose State University golf champion and national golf broadcaster will join 130 of the greatest golfers in the world.

    The PGA Tour announced on Sunday that Ken Venturi - who graduated SJSU in 1953 -  would join the class of 2013 Golf Hall of Fame.

    Venturi participated in SJSU's golf team during the years of 1951-53' and his induction is described as "a tremendous honor for one of SJSU's most decorated athletes of all time," by SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director Lawrence Fan. 

    "He had a wonderful professional career in sports and then in broadcasting while always keeping SJSU close to his heart," Fan said. "He still has constant contact with the men's golf coach and has conducted clinics and fundraisers on behalf of the golf program here at SJSU."

    He is the third Spartan to collect such accolades following Patty Sheehan (1993) and Juli Inkster (2000),  according to Spartan Athletics.

    Being the only amateur with a 54-hole lead in the Masters, the voice of CBS Sports for 35 years and winning captain of the 2000 President's Cup are just a few accomplishments under Venturi's belt, according to ESPN.

    His proceeding broadcasting career even proved exceptional when he was awarded the PGA of American Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award in 2000, according to the World Golf Hall of Fame website.

    USGA Executive Director Mike Davis told Spartan Athletics that Venturi's 1964 U.S. Open victory is one of the greatest moments of the tournament's 112-year history.

     "His ability to overcome extremely difficult conditions at Congressional personifies the perseverance, determination and execution required to be a U.S. Open champion."

    Part of a golden era in Bay Area golfing, Venturi joined golfers Bob Rosburg, Johnny Miller and George Archer in a San Franciscans-take-all winning streak, according to SF Gate.

    "The last time I had tears in my eyes was when I won the U.S. Open," Venturi said in a conference call Monday. "This has been a special day, and I'm deeply honored."

    According to Golf Digest, Venturi's life off the field also proved historical.

    Venturi called Frank Sinatra his best friend and roommate, starred in the movie "Tin Cup" and referred to in Mark Frost's book "The Match."

    Venturi will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on May 6, at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.
     
    He will be Frys.com Open honoree this week in San Martin.