Martin, USGA settle cart issue
Moving forward, Casey Martin will be given a cart at any USGA event he attends, the University of Oregon men’s coach told Golfweek on Tuesday via telephone.
Martin said he talked to longtime friend John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of rules, competitions and amateur status, and Bodenhamer said Martin would be accommodated at this month’s US Junior Amateur in Truckee, Calif., and beyond.
Joe Goode, the USGA’s managing director of communications, confirmed a conversation took place between Bodenhamer and Martin. He declined to get into specifics of the conversation.
Martin, 41, was born with a debilitating condition in his right leg that makes walking difficult. He was denied the use of a cart June 24 while recruiting at a US Junior Amateur qualifier in Oceanside, Calif.
Martin says that his lawyers are on standby after reviewing the circumstances, but Martin has held off filing any lawsuit in hopes of a different resolution. The USGA has reached out on two occasions: Executive director Mike Davis called him, including an apology in the first telephone call. Martin is thankful for that, but still thinks this situation warrants a public apology from the organization.
Martin continues to bristle at the USGA’s initial public statement, released last week.
"The United States Golf Association has been and continues to be a strong supporter of Casey Martin. The unfortunate situation at the US Junior qualifier stems from a misunderstanding over the USGA Cart Policy at our championship events. We regret that this misunderstanding may have caused Casey an inconvenience, but it certainly was unintentional. We have extended to Casey accommodations that we offer all disabled spectators at our championships. Despite this unfortunate situation, we continue to admire what Casey has been able to accomplish in the game as both a player and a coach."
Despite the admiration, Martin feels that he is still being blamed for the situation.
“I became frustrated. (The statement) was not accurate,” Martin said.
The USGA had no further comment on its statement, nor Martin’s response.
Golfweek’s Nick Masuda contributed to this report.