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Supreme Court rules on another cart case

Following up on its ruling that Casey Martin can use a cart on the PGA Tour, the Supreme Court on Monday threw out a lower court's ruling against another disabled golfer who made the same request.

Ford Olinger, who has a degenerative hip, unsuccessfully sued the U.S. Golf Association for the right to use a cart in U.S. Open qualifying. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court in Chicago ruled in March 2000 that a golf cart would change the nature of competition.

Olinger's appeal to the Supreme Court had been in limbo while the justices considered the Martin case. Last week, the court ruled 7-2 that a cart is a reasonable way to accommodate Martin's disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Olinger, 34, also cited the ADA in his suit for use of a golf cart during qualifying for the U.S. Open.

After shooting a 19-over-par 90 in U.S. Open qualifying last year, Olinger said he wouldn't try to qualify for another Open unless he could use a cart.

The justices sent Olinger's case back to the Chicago appeals court with instructions to resolve the dispute in light of the Martin decision. The high court's action makes it all but certain that Olinger will get permission to use a cart.

The USGA said last week it will abide by the Martin ruling and handle any requests for carts on a case-by-case basis. About 30,000 players compete in the USGA's 13 championships, 11 of which require walking.

The case is Olinger v. U.S. Golf Association, 00-434.


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