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CASEY MARTIN VS. PGA TOUR: MARTIN SHOWS SIGNS OF STRESS
Published February 5, 1998
Casey Martin took the stand in the third day of his suit against the PGA Tour and explained how his disabled right leg "has prevented him from living a normal life," according to Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST. Martin, who "broke down once" during his 75 minute testimony, spoke in a "calm, clipped voice," saying that his leg causes him "such immense pain that he has been unable to sleep uninterrupted for many years." Martin also testified that blood "gathers and hardens" in his ankle, that he takes "at least" five Advils a day, wears two stockings on his leg "to aid circulation," and "no longer runs, exercises or drives." Martin also said the "essence of golf" at PGA and Nike Tour levels is "[m]aking shots," not walking. PGA Tour Policy Board Chair Richard Ferris also testified yesterday, and told the court that "walking is part and parcel of the game" at the highest levels. Martin's lawyers are expected to rest their case today (WASHINGTON POST, 2/5). While being questioned by his attorney, Martin broke down in recalling an incident during a college tourney when he was offered the use of a cart, but refused. After the court granted a five minute recess, Martin "reiterated" he would prefer walking "if he could." The Tour said "it will appeal the case if it loses." Martin said he won't appeal but will "try to play without a cart." In Chicago, Michael Hirsley: "Martin struggling to walk the course could be a lingering public- relations black eye for pro golf" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/5). DETAILS: PGA Tour attorney William Maledon said Martin's disability is "not the issue in the case, and it's unfortunate that that emotional issue is being given the prominence that it is" (CNN/SI, 2/5)....The PGA Tour's Ferris testified that carts are allowed on the Senior Tour because it is a "money-driven 'nostalgia' tour, far less competitive than" the PGA Tour (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/5). ADVANTAGE MARTIN? ESPN's Jimmy Roberts pointed out a part of Ferris' testimony that "might in the end prove especially damaging" to the PGA Tour's case, that carts were provided for all players during the qualifying school because one was provided for Martin. Roberts: "Ferris said that in the Tour's view, that did not compromise the integrity of the competition ... [which] would seem to be at odds with the Tour's very own central argument" (ESPN, 2/4).