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Casey Martin signs new deal with Nike

Casey Martin and Nike Golf agreed to a new endorsement contract today, with Nike hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court "will make the right decision'' in his bid to continue riding a cart.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, although Nike said it was for head-to-toe apparel and that Martin would play the Nike Precision Tour Accuracy ball.

Nike chairman Phil Knight used the announcement as a show of support for Martin, whose case against the PGA Tour for a right to ride a cart will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

"We believe in his right to pursue his dream to compete on the PGA Tour,'' Knight said. "We trust the Supreme Court will make the right decision and allow Casey to continue to earn a living by playing the sport he loves.''

"Nike has a tradition of supporting athletes' causes against the Establishment, but I don't think there has been a single case that we've been more proud to do that that in the case of Casey Martin.''

Casey Martin in action at the Western Open last year. Allsport.

Martin has Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome in his right leg, a degenerative condition that makes it difficult to walk 18 holes, let alone over consecutive days.

He successfully sued the PGA Tour three years ago for a right to a cart, and a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld the decision.

Martin qualified for the PGA Tour last year, but failed to keep his card. He missed by one stroke at qualifying school earning playing privileges this year, and will mostly play on the developmental Buy.com Tour.

He is playing in the Tucson Open this week under one of seven sponsor's exemptions that he is allowed on the PGA Tour. Martin opened with a 74, seven strokes out of the lead.


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