Casey Martin makes an enigmatic return to the US Open
When I see Casey Martin I am immediately reminded of a courageous man. I still remember how Casey Martin played through all four rounds of the US Open in 1998. A controversial move from the courts allowed Casey Martin to use the cart because he was experiencing a circulatory disorder in his lower right leg.
The disorder made it impossible for Casey Martin to walk to all 18 holes. However, the 40-year-old Casey Martin recorded impressive results under rainy conditions to qualify for the US Open once again.
The US Open is being held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco and yes that’s the same venue where Casey Martin caught the attention of the world in 1998. Casey Martin, who is the head golf coach at Oregon these days, played two rounds of 69 on Monday at Emerald Valley Gold Resort to finish with a medal and qualify for the 2012 US Open.
Casey Martin was in impressive form throughout the qualification round. Casey Martin finished the day by sinking a 5-foot par putt on his last hole. Casey Martin, who is afflicted with Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, went to court in order to ask for the right of using a cart in the US Open. The Disabilities Act allowed the Casey Martin the right to the cart at the 1998 US Open where he finished with a tie for 23rd.
Casey Martin later won a lawsuit against the PGA Tour, and continued to use the car in future competitions. Eventually, Casey Martin retired from professional competitions in 2006. Casey Martin believes using a cart at the US Open is barely an issue now.
“That’s already kind of been there, done that,” Casey Martin said in an interview. “If there is (controversy), there is. I think there is going to be a lot of tension, but not controversy.”
Casey Martin admits he hasn’t competed in a tournament in more than five years. Casey Martin also admitted that he had played only 15 rounds last year.
“I just don’t play anymore,” he said.
Casey Martin is certainly unprepared for the tournament in comparison to other entrees for the US Open. Nonetheless, Casey Martin will attract a lot of attention at the US Open this year. Casey Martin’s former teammate at Stanford, Tiger Woods was happy to hear about his return.
“Just incredible,” Tiger Woods tweeted. “Ability, attitude and guts. See you at Olympic, Casey.”