Golf commentator arrested

Venturi was drunk in his car, say police

Golfmagic correspondent
Sun, 23 Sep 2001
Golf commentator arrested

Top American television golf commentator Ken Venturi faces a drunken driving charge after police allege he nearly hit a patrol car.

The 1964 U.S. Open champion who works as a CBS golf analyst, was arrested on Thursday night and taken to the Collier County Jail. He was released after posting bail of $750.

"There are two sides to every story,"said the 70-year-old Venturi from his home on southwest Florida's Gulf Coast. He said he will speak with his lawyer tomorrow (Monday).

A breath test taken twice, allegedly recorded his blood-alcohol level at 0.191 per-cent and 0.195 per-cent and nder Florida law, a driver is presumed over the legal limit when the level exceeds 0.08.

A sheriff's deputy said he was driving in his marked car about 10:45 p.m when he was nearly hit by Venturi's car. When he stopped the golfer, the deputy said he could smell alcohol on his breath. He appeared intoxicated.

Venturi allegedly couldn't follow instructions or keep his balance and at first was 'extremely belligerent' toward deputies before co-operating.

"It's embarrassing, but I'm doing fine. There's a lot more to be said," added Venturi, who was captain of the victorious US Presidents Cup team last year, is a former Ryder Cup players and holds the PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism. He is due to retire from his position with CBS at the end of the season after 31 years.