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Golf: Casey Faces Supreme Test In Buggy Claim.

Byline: TONY STENSON

EVERY so often a new household name appears in sport.

In athletics there is the 'Fosbury Flop' in recognition of the revolutionary high-jumping technique.

Soccer has accepted 'Bosman' as the name given to players' freedom of contract.

Now it's possible 'Martin' will stand for the obligation of sports organisations to accommodate handicapped athletes under the Disabilities act.

Casey Martin, a former Stanford University college pal of Tiger Woods, wants the right to ride a caddy car on full US Tour golf events.

Now the American gets to argue his case against the PGA Tour on January 17 in the Supreme Court, the highest legal authority in America.

It marks the latest step in a 38-month process. During that time the case brought by Martin, and two more suits filed against the USPGA by other golfers, all dealing with the Americans With Disability Act, have moved through the federal courts.

This dispute concerns whether Martin's request to ride a cart during the PGA Tour would give him an unfair advantage.

The USPGA believe it does, and also argue their right to make the rules.

If Martin wins his case, it will open a batch of claims worldwide.

Since birth, the 27-year-old has had a rare circulatory disease called Klippel-Trenaunay-Webber syndrome.

Because his blood does not circulate properly through a withered leg, were he to fracture the bone it could require amputation.

Martin's every step risks permanent damage. There is no cure. As a college athlete, Martin was allowed a cart.

While the PGA Tour allows players to ride carts in early rounds of its qualifying, the Tour rules required Martin to give up his buggy in order to compete in the final stages.

Rules state "players should walk at all times during a stipulated round unless permitted."

Greats like Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson argue against Martin using a buggy and even great pal Woods insists: "Although I deeply sympathise with Casey, I feel using a cart does offer an

advantage."

CAPTION(S):

DRIVE FOR FAIRNESS: Golf star Martin
COPYRIGHT 2001 MGN LTD
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 4, 2001
Words:341
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