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Golf Today 22nd December
New cart court case in Australia
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Golf Notes December 22: And now, a word about sponsors
New cart court case in Australia

PGA Tour Australasia is disappointed one of its members is set to launch a Casey Martin-style legal action in order to be allowed to ride in a golf cart while playing the local circuit.

Nigel Lane, 31, from Brisbane, is taking the legal action reluctantly in order to "play professional golf".

Lane announced his intention yesterday after tying for victory with Anthony Edwards in the 36-hole Jack Newton Celebrity Classic on the Sunshine Coast.

The PGA Tour board turned down Lane's request, which he justified because of "unbelievable pain" caused by arthritis in his feet.

Casey Martin successfully sued the USPGA Tour last year, claiming he could not walk the course because of a degenerative problem with his legs. The US body is appealing the decision, but, for now, Martin uses a cart.

Lane, who topped the Queensland Order of Merit, won his card to play on the Australasian Tour at the 1998 qualifying school. He failed to win enough money to keep it, but his state status allows him to pre-qualify for events.

"We're disappointed it has come to this," the tour's operations manager, Trevor Herden, said last night.

"It will be interesting to see what his peers think because he's a shareholder in the company he's suing."

The PGA Tour maintains it is not fair to the rest of the field if one player uses a cart. But Lane said his stroke average went up when the Queensland PGA allowed him to use a cart in state-run events.