Former PGA Tour player Casey Martin has right leg amputated

Casey Martin, who successfully sued the PGA Tour so he could use a golf cart because of a rare circulatory disease, had surgery Friday to have his right leg amputated.

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Martin, 49, who has been the golf coach at the University of Oregon for 15 years, had the surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Golf Digest reported. His leg was amputated above the knee.

According to the university’s website, Martin suffers from a birth defect called Klippel-Trenaunay-Webber Syndrome, a congenital circulatory disorder. His condition made it almost impossible to walk 18 holes, but he was able to earn a PGA Tour card for the 2000 season, according to The Associated Press.

Under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Martin sued the Tour and won the right to use a golf cart in a case that was decided by the Supreme Court in 2001 in a 7-2 decision.

Martin won the Ben Hogan Award in 1998, given annually to a competitor who continues to be active in golf despite a physical handicap. In 2001, Nike instituted an annual Casey Martin Award to recognize a disabled athlete.

Martin, who was a teammate of Tiger Woods on Stanford’s national championship team, qualified for the U.S. Open in 2012 but missed the cut, according to the PGA Tour website.

As Oregon’s coach, Martin has led the Ducks to nine NCAA Championship appearances, including winning the 2016 NCAA title and finishing runner-up in the 2017 event, according to the school’s website.

Jeff Quinney, a former PGA Tour player and Oregon’s current assistant coach, will fill in for Martin during his recovery, the Golf Channel reported.

Martin broke his right leg in October 2019, Golf Digest reported. Road construction outside of his home caused him to step the wrong way off a curb while he was bringing in his trash cans at night, according to the Golf Channel.

Despite two years in a cast and a series of injections, his tibia never healed, according to Golf Digest.

“In many ways, I exceeded what my doctors told me as a kid,” Martin told the magazine earlier this month. “I always felt this would be my destiny. So while it’s weird to be here now, about to become seriously disfigured, it’s not unexpected.”

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