SAN MARTIN -- Ken Venturi's long list of accomplishments and lifelong ties to the Bay Area earned him his guest-of-honor status at this year's Frys.com Open.
The fact the tournament comes one week after the announcement that Venturi will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013 was only gravy.
"It worked out very well," acknowledged the 81-year-old Venturi, who termed the hall of fame selection "an honor to cap off a career for which I'll always be grateful."
Venturi's recognition carried a $25,000 honorarium from the tournament, but he chose to divide the money evenly in donations to the San Jose State golf program and Loma Linda Children's Hospital in Southern California.
Born in San Francisco, Venturi played on San Jose State's golf team before turning pro in 1956. His attachment to San Jose, though, goes beyond the school.
"I was very fortunate when I went down there," he said between autograph signings at CordeValle Golf Club. "San Jose Country Club let me be an honorary member and I had a wonderful place to practice. It really meant a lot to me."
As a pro, Venturi won 14 tournaments, including a victory in the 1964 U.S. Open. After retiring in 1967, he became one of golf's best known TV commentators over the next 35 years.
Venturi said he never has played CordeValle but called it "magnificent course." And he didn't have too much sympathy for golfers who had to contend
"Everybody has to play the same hole," Venturi said, "and you have to find a way to beat 'em."
Venturi's induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame will be May 15 with ceremonies in St. Augustine, Fla.
And Els wasn't ruling out a strong enough weekend showing to win the tournament despite being 10 strokes back at the midway point.
"Hitting it, I played well today," said Els, who shaved three strokes off his Thursday game with a 68 on Friday. "I've got to shoot in the low 60s to have a chance. But I think scoring's going to be good now, so it's going to be a little different."
Els, who finished play Thursday before the afternoon rains soaked CordeValle, called the course "pluggy" and hoped things would continue to dry.
"I'd like to see it a little faster again," Els said.
But shooting par both days wasn't quite good enough, and Weir fell one stroke shy.
A lefty, Weir had surgery on his right elbow in August 2011. He failed to make the cut in any of the 12 tournaments he entered this year, then took two months off before returning to action this week.
"I got into such bad form with my elbow being bad and trying to compensate," Weir said. "Now it's getting better. I need to start seeing some 60s out there to get my confidence going again. I'm close to doing that. I'm just not making the putts."
Three golfers with major championships on their résumés also won't be playing this weekend: John Daly (75-70), Justin Leonard (70-73) and Trevor Immelman (74-72).