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Venturi steps away after 35 years in the booth
by GolfWeb Wire Service

POTOMAC, Md. -- Ken Venturi, retiring after 35 years in the broadcast booth, choked back tears Sunday as he worked his final golf tournament for CBS.

Ken Venturi retired after Sunday's final-round broadcast. (AP)

"You'll always be in my thoughts," Venturi said before signing off at the Kemper Insurance Open. "It's been a long time. I don't know where the time went -- 35 years. It's unbelievable. I've really been very lucky."

Many players paid some form of tribute to Venturi as they finished their rounds. Chris DiMarco looked to the broadcast tower and clapped as he walked off the 18th green. Justin Leonard doffed his cap. Greg Norman pointed to Venturi and threw his ball toward the booth, despite coming off a three-putt bogey.

"I've relished these 17 years," lead broadcaster Jim Nantz told Venturi. "I loved talking life with you. You won't be in that chair any longer, but as long as I'm here, you'll be [at] my side."

CBS played a video tribute to Venturi, who said farewell with the words: "The greatest reward in life is to be remembered. Thank you for remembering me. God bless you."

Venturi, the 1964 U.S. Open winner at Congressional who turned 71 on May 15, plans to spend more time with his two sons and his grandchildren in Palm Springs, Calif.

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