Ken Venturi, 81, will not be able to attend his own induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame next week due to illness, according to Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Venturi recently developed a series of infections in his back, requiring surgery. His prognosis is good, according to his son Matt, but Ken Venturi’s recovery will prevent him from making the cross-country trip for Monday’s ceremony. He lives outside Palm Springs.
“We’re obviously disappointed, but we’re happy the prognosis is good,” Hall of Fame spokesman Travis Hill said. “It’s a shame Ken can’t make it. He was really thrilled about this.”
The Hall originally planned for Venturi’s longtime television partner, Jim Nantz, to accept the honor on his behalf. Nantz asked Matt Venturi and his brother, Tim, to stand in for their father.
Venturi won 14 PGA Tour events, including the 1964 U.S. Open. After retiring from professional golf in 1967 due to carpal tunnel syndrome, Venturi was a broadcaster for CBS Sports for 35 years.
Photo: Ken Venturi at the 2009 Presidents Cup in his hometown of San Francisco (Getty Images).