Jack Nicklaus’ thoughts on Ken Venturi

Jack Nicklaus’ thoughts on Ken Venturi, 1964 U.S. Open champion, the voice of golf for CBS Sports for 35 years, and recent Hall of Fame inductee who passed away Friday at the age of 82:

“I was very upset and saddened to hear the news of Ken’s passing. We all knew what a wonderful player Ken Venturi was, and how he fashioned a second successful career as an announcer. But far more important than how good he was at playing the game or covering it, Ken was my friend. Ken was fortunate in that the game of golf gave him so much, but without question, Ken gave back far more to the game he loved than he ever gained from it. Over the years, Ken developed a circle of friends that is enormous and whose collective heart is heavy today. All those in and out of the golf community will miss him, just as Barbara and I will.

“If there is some sense of fairness, it is that Ken was inducted into a Hall of Fame that he very much deserved to be in and, in fact, should have been in for many years. While I know he was not able to be there in person for his induction, I am certain there was an overwhelming sense of pride and peace that embraced Ken. It was a dream of Ken Venturi’s that became a reality before he sadly left us.”