Your eyes aren't deceiving you; John Daly is riding in a golf cart at Bethpage Black at the 2019 PGA Championship. And he's the only player in the 156-man field riding in a golf cart. So why is that?
Daly, the 1991 PGA champion, is riding in a golf cart at this PGA Championship because he appealed to the PGA of America, which presents the championship, for the right to do so under the Americans With Disabilites Act. Daly has osteoarthritis in his right knee, which prevents him from traversing golf course hills very well. He can swing a golf club and play the game, but his knees don't work as well going up and down hills. So, the PGA of America granted his request.
The Associated Press first reported this story.
Last year, Daly appealed to the US Golf Association to be able to use a cart to participate in the 2018 US Senior Open. They denied his request, so he chose not to play in the championship.
Daly typically plays on PGA Tour Champions, where the 50-plus players routinely have carts available during competition. The last time Daly played competitively without a golf cart was last year's Omega European Masters in September 2018 in Switzerland.
At Bethpage Black, Daly follows in the footsteps of Casey Martin, the former PGA Tour pro and current University of Oregon golf coach, who used a cart in the 1998 and 2012 US Opens, both at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Martin suffers from a degenerative condition called Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, which restricts circulation in the lower portion of his right leg, that made walking the golf course extremely taxing and difficult. He sued the PGA Tour for the right to use a cart in their competitions under the ADA, and he won, competing with PGA Tour status.