2020 April Memorabilia Auction Featuring Ken Venturi Collection
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/12/2020

1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi

From the vantage point of the Founders Circle, the Augusta National Clubhouse appears in great detail on the front of this Gold Masters Tournament Medal that was awarded to Ken Venturi in 1956 for his Low Amateur performance. The relic's front side perimeter reads, "Augusta National Golf Club". The verso of this medal is adorned by the iconic Augusta National logo, and is marked "Masters Tournament" and "Kenneth Venturi." Those familiar with the Masters Tournament awards and how they are earned know the significance of being the Low Amateur title, as the the club's co-founder Bobby Jones put high importance on this for obvious reasons. The 24-year old San Francisco native Venturi fired a -6 score of 66 in his Thursday round of the tournament, the best round by an amateur at the Masters then and now. Ken Venturi would be edged out by the slimmest of margins in the final round by Jack Burke Jr, who would go on to win not only the Masters Tournament, but the PGA Championship in 1956 as well.

This gold medal was presented to Ken Venturi the year he accomplished the unlikely combination of being both the low amateur and tournament runner-up. It is difficult to articulate what an extreme opportunity is presented with this auction lot. The rare, seldom seen chance to own an actual Masters Tournament gold medal presented to a contestant at Augusta National Golf Club on one of his finest hours of competition in a brilliant career. Combined with the knowledge that this award was bestowed at what has become the pinnacle of championship golf, the Masters. Screams out to any collector of prized golf memorabilia that this treasure is rightfully needed for their collection.

The prize measures 1.75" in diameter, 1/8" thick and weighs 1.6 ounces. Stamped on the edge, just below the C in Golf Club on the face of the award, is 10k that refers to the gold composition of the award along with the maker's hallmark. As the photos clearly show, the detail of the medal is outstanding and the condition is Near Mint while still showing age. A letter of authenticity signed by Kathleen Venturi will accompany this lot.


We at The Golf Auction vividly remember Ken Venturi's legendary career in golf both on the course and in the broadcast booth. This auction affords the golf collecting community a wonderful opportunity to cherish a part of his Hall of Fame career, and we will borrow on Ken's own straight forward words on the importance of golf's championship collectibles offered here by his widow Kathleen “After the money is spent the trophy lingers on." Mr. Venturi, it will indeed in some of the finest golf museums and renowned private golf collections across the world that recognize your achievements and support our endeavor.

Most who are reading this know that the highlight of Ken Venturi's golf playing career came with a win at the 1964 United States Open. Contested at Congressional Country Club just outside Washington D.C., the final 36 holes were contested, in one day, under 100-degree heat and stifling humidity contributing to a case of dehydration for Venturi. Said conditions were so severe that between 18 hole rounds, with a fear of fatal heat stroke, he was placed under the care of a doctor who advised that he withdraw from the final round. Somehow Venturi prevailed over the challenging conditions, an extremely tough course (the longest setup to that date in U.S.G.A play), and the finest players in the world shooting an incredible 70 for a four shot victory. It was a significant part of a magical season that led to PGA Tour's Player of the Year and Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year honors which highlighted the numerous end of the year accolades which came his way. Dating to the first U.S. Championship in 1895 there have been 88 different winners, and only 223 players in the history of the game who can lay claim to having captured a Major title.

However one accomplishment no matter how significant does not afford a recipient induction into the World Golf Hall, which Ken was elected to in 2013, you have to have a career packed with achievement. Venturi's wasn't only a career in the game, it was a lifetime in the game beginning as a San Francisco high school golf champion in 1948 and 1949. He continued to excel on the local amateur circuit with three wins in San Francisco City Championship and two triumphs in the California state amateur. He burst on the National scene as a 24-year-old amateur when he led the first three rounds of the 1956 Masters eventually gaining the silver medal losing the Championship by the slimmest one stroke margin. "THE MATCH" also took place in 1956, one of the most famous of four-ball matches to ever hit the links. Played at Cypress Point it featured Venturi and fellow Bay City amateur Harvie Ward against veteran Hall of Fame players Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. It took a Hogan birdie on the 18th hole to decide the winner. In 1957, Ken turned professional and notched the first of 14 career PGA Tour wins in his first event as a pro at the St. Paul Open Invitational. His solid Tour play continued highlighted by another second place finish at the Masters in 1960, sitting as the clubhouse leader after a low Sunday round of 70 had left him at -5, it took two dramatic birdies on 17 and 18 from Arnold Palmer to match Ken's low round of 70 and give Palmer a one stroke victory. Following his U.S. Open triumph in 1964, the golf world was soon deprived of how successful Venturi's on-course career could have been as he was beset by a series of injuries including carpel tunnel syndrome which led to the end of his playing career. He quickly turned over a new leaf in the game joining CBS' coverage of golf as lead analyst for the 1968 season. Venturi with his principled depiction of play from a past Major champions perspective became a highly respected cornerstone golf telecasts among all involved be they players, television executives or the viewing public. This relationship continued for 35 years, making Venturi the longest tenured lead analyst in sports broadcasting history. Once again an incredible feat in the career of Venturi, who accomplished all of this despite a terrible stammer that hampered him in his youth. In conclusion to this bio there is no better words than those of Venturi in signing off on his last telecast for CBS he told viewers, "The greatest gift in life is to be remembered" and in parting. "Thank you for remembering me. God bless you, and God bless America."

A portion of the proceeds generated from the sale of the Ken Venturi Collection will be donated to the large number of charitable foundations founded and supported by Ken and Kathleen Venturi


Place your bids now as this auction will end at 9:00pm EST Sunday, April 12th with EXTENDED BIDDING to follow. All items that have received multiple bids in the auction will remain open until no items have received a bid within a 15 minute time period (at 10pm EST, the countdown clock will be adjusted to a 5 minute interval). Place your bids now!

1. You must place your initial bids BEFORE extended bidding begins in order to bid on the item in extended bidding
2. During extended bidding, you are allowed to bid only on items you PREVIOUSLY placed a bid on.
3. All lots that are active in extended bidding will close at the same time, and those with only ONE or NO BIDS will close at 9pm EST

1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi
1956 Masters Tournament Gold Low Amateur Medal Awarded to Ken Venturi
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $4,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $17,476.55
Number Bids: 14
Auction closed on Monday, April 13, 2020.
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