Ken Venturi, a San Francisco native and the 1964
Matt Venturi says his father died Friday afternoon at a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after a two-month battle with a spinal infection,
Venturi is best known for his only major victory when he battled oppressive heat and humidity to win the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in
"I've seen people over the years who not only tell me I won the Open, they tell me where I won it, what I shot and exactly what I did," Venturi said in an April 2011 interview. "There aren't many Opens where everyone can tell you all about it."
Venturi, who won California State Amateur titles in 1951 and '56, overcame a stuttering problem as a youth and survived a car accident in 1961.
After his playing days, when he won 14 times on the
"In every decision I've considered in my life, the determining question I would ask myself was: 'Would my mother and father be proud?'" Venturi said in a biography.
Venturi, who turned 82 on Wednesday, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last week as a recipient in the Lifetime Achievement category.