Casey Martin Retires From Pro Golf
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
EUGENE, OREGON--Casey Martin let it be known last week that he is ending his professional golfing career.
Martin, 33, failed to make it through the first round to qualify for the PGA Tour in Hollister, California.
"I've pretty much made it clear that this would be my last Q-School," Martin told Golf Digest. "I'm not saying I'll never compete again. But I don't anticipate it being my main thing."
Martin will likely go down in history as the golfer who successfully challenged the PGA Tour for the right to use a motorized golf cart as a workplace accommodation under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.
Martin has a circulatory condition called Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, which made it painful and dangerous for him to walk the long distances the PGA Tour requires during tournaments. His lawsuit against the professional organization, filed in 1997, went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where, in May 2001, it was ruled that Martin was in the right.
While the case made its way through the courts, Martin continued to compete through the legal distractions and the pain. He said he was disappointed with his scores last year, and had indicated that he would probably call it quits if he did not qualify for this year's tour.
"Obviously, I would have wished that things would have worked out differently in golf," he said. "But, by the same token, I never really envisioned myself playing past 35 or 40 anyway, physically. And the way my leg has felt, it's kind of a relief to wind it down right now."
Martin indicated that he will probably relax for the next few months while he decides where to go from here. He told the Los Angeles Times that he might stay in the sport and coach or design golf courses, or use the economics degree he earned at Stanford University.
"It makes me sad, but at the same time I'm kind of excited to see what's out there," said Martin. "I haven't really pursued anything."
Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "If Casey Martin's career really is over, he should be remembered for the way he stood up to the PGA Tour. Whether or not you agree that Martin should have been allowed to use a cart in competition, he conducted his battle with grace and class."
"Casey's last stand?" (Golf Digest)
"Martin's ride into the sunset will not require a cart" (Los Angeles Times via Contra Costa Times)
"Casey Martin, Golf and the ADA" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)