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Casey Martin to coach in Oregon

Casey Martin, who battled the PGA Tour for the right to use a golf cart in competition, was named head coach of the Oregon golf team Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Martin takes over for Steve Nosler, who announced in March that this would be his final season. Martin had been serving as a volunteer assistant for the Ducks since the start of the season.

"The thought of building a nationally competitive golf program for the University of Oregon is simply thrilling to me," Martin said. "Having been raised in Eugene, I possess an intense passion for all athletic programs at the University of Oregon."

Martin suffers from a birth defect in his right leg known as Klippel-Trenaunay-Webber Syndrome, a circulatory disorder. Because of his disability, Martin sought the use of a cart to get around the course in PGA Tour events.

The tour argued in court that walking was an integral part of the competition.

Under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Martin won the right to use the vehicle. The legal case was ultimately affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Martin's efforts earned him the 1998 Ben Hogan Award, given annually to a player who continues to be active in golf despite a physical handicap.

Martin played his college golf as Stanford. He helped the Cardinal to the 1994 NCAA title, and teamed with future PGA stars Tiger Woods and Notah Begay.

Martin has been playing professionally since 1998, much of it on the Nationwide Tour, formerly the Nike Tour.

He won the 1998 Lakeland Classic and finished 14th on the 1999 Nike Tour money list with $122,742 to earn his 2000 PGA Tour card.

"I have known Casey all his life and it has been a marvelous experience to watch him develop into the outstanding citizen that he is," said Nosler, who coached Martin's older brother, Cam. "Casey is a tremendous competitor and under his leadership, I believe in a very short time the Oregon golf program will be competitive nationally."



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