Casey Martin's case will finally be settled one way or another at the US Supreme Court. Allsport.
With opposite opinions from two federal appeals courts on
whether walking is an integral part of championship golf, the PGA
Tour said today it would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the
decision that allows Casey Martin to ride in a cart.
The tour said it would file its motion Wednesday, the deadline
imposed by the Supreme Court. The court probably will not decide
until late October whether to take up the case.
"This case is not about Casey Martin, but rather the PGA Tour's
ability to set and implement the rules of its competition,'' the
tour said in a statement.
Spokesman Bob Combs said there would be no further comment.
Martin, who has a rare circulatory disease in his right leg, is
playing the Advil Western Open outside Chicago this week.
"I knew about this two months ago,'' Martin told SportsLine.com
today. "My lawyer told me (the tour) did everything they had
to do (to file the motion).
"Obviously, I'm disappointed. You just kind of roll with it. I
can't kick and scream. I hoped my performance would be a good thing
out there rather (than having the tour) fight me. I think it's
pretty obvious that I'm not at any advantage, and I hoped they'd
let it go."
His father said he was disappointed but not surprised by the
"I never expected differently,'' King Martin said.
''(Commissioner) Tim Finchem told me from Day One that he would
accommodate Casey all the way through the appeals process, which is
a nice way of saying they're going all the way through with this.''
Martin successfully sued the PGA Tour in 1998 for a right to
ride a cart, and became the first player to ride in the U.S. Open
and on the PGA Tour. He earned his tour card in October by
finishing in the top 15 on the Nike Tour.
In March, the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco unanimously
upheld the Oregon court's decision.
One day later, the 7th Circuit Court in Chicago upheld a lower
court ruling that denied a cart to Indiana club pro Ford Olinger.
Olinger had sued the USGA for a cart in U.S. Open qualifying
because of a degenerative hip disease. He was allowed a walker --
called a Lunar Swedish Rollator -- to relieve pressure on his back,
but shot a 90 in the first stage of qualifying in May and failed to
Both lawsuits were based on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The tour said it expects Olinger to ask the Supreme Court to review
his case, too.
"We believe the prospects of the Supreme Court agreeing to
clarify the law on this issue are increased if requests to review
both the Olinger and Martin decisions are before the court,'' the
Meanwhile, a federal court in Austin, Texas, last month ruled
against the USGA and ordered that JaRo Jones, a 53-year-old club
pro who has post-polio syndrome and neuromuscular atrophy, be
allowed a cart in U.S. Senior Open qualifying.
He had an 84 and failed to qualify.
As it relates to the Martin case, the tour said a standard
imposed by the 9th circuit was impossible to administer and not
required under the ADA. The court said the tour should determine
the difference in fatigue between disabled players who ride and
able-bodied players who walk.
Martin, who played at Stanford University with Tiger Woods and Notah Begay,
has struggled in his rookie season on tour. He has made the cut in
only eight of 15 tournaments, and his only finish in the top 30 was
a tie for 17th in the Tucson Open, the same week the top players were competing in the Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship.
He is 161st on the money list, and must finish the year in the
125 to keep his card -- or the top 150 to avoid returning to the
six-round Qualifying School.
If the Supreme Court agrees to review the case, a decision is
not expected until next summer.