Unfortunately, history has a way of repeating itself.
University of Oregon head men’s golf coach Casey Martin claimed he was discriminated against on Monday at a USGA event, according to a Golfweek report.
The 41-year-old, who was born with a debilitating blood-circulation condition called Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome in his right leg that makes walking very difficult, says he was denied a cart at a U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier in Oceanside, Calif.
Back in 2001, Martin sued and won a case against the PGA Tour in a decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court which said he had a right to use a cart in tournament play. This, however, deals with the USGA, and the story began ahead of the Monday qualifier, according to the Golfweek report.
Martin, who was planning to attend the tournament as part of a recruiting effort, emailed tournament chairman Matt Pawlak to secure the use of a cart. His request was approved. However, on the sixth hole, Pawlak approached Martin while in the cart and told Martin that USGA rules prohibited spectators from using golf carts. Martin complied with Pawlak’s request he give up the cart. Pawlak later told Golfweek that the USGA had asked him to not allow Martin to use the cart.
USGA executive director Mike Davis personally apologized to Martin after the Oregon coach phoned to discuss the situation.
It’s the second time in a week, however, this has happened to Martin at a USGA event. Martin was in a cart while attending a U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Ore., where he qualified for the U.S. Open last year. The same incident happened: Martin was afforded a cart by the club, then told his use as a spectator violated the USGA’s rules for spectators.