SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies

PGA TOUR BEGINS ITS CASE AGAINST MARTIN; PUBLIC WEIGHS IN

          In day four of Martin v. PGA Tour, Ken Venturi, who
     during his win at the '64 U.S. Open "walked the course in
     100-degree heat with severe dehydration," testified that
     Martin "should not be allowed" to use a cart, according to
     Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST.  Venturi: "It's
     changing the level of competition."  Arnold Palmer, Jack
     Nicklaus and Scott Verplank also testified yesterday as the
     Tour began its case, and all "agreed" that walking is "an
     integral part of tournament golf."  Nicklaus added that
     carts would "tarnish" golf's image on TV and would
     "reinforce the belief that it is a non-strenuous, country
     club activity."  While each witness said that they "admire"
     Martin, each said that his use of a cart would be "unfair"
     to other competitors (Thomas Heath, WASHINGTON POST, 2/6). 
          VENTURI TALKS: While questioning Venturi, Martin's
     attorney William Wiswall tried to establish that since
     Venturi won the '64 Open, the fatigue must not have affected
     him.  Wiswall: "The fatigue didn't affect you?"  Venturi:
     "It damn near killed me."  Verplank testified that he
     "benefited from" the injunction Martin was granted last
     year, which allowed players to ride a cart at the PGA
     qualifying tournament.  Verplank, who won the event: "I rode
     the whole week.  I felt great" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/6).  PGA Tour
     attorney William Malendon: "You're starting to see now what
     we believe this case is all about. ... It's about whether or
     not an organization such as the PGA Tour or [MLB] or the NBA
     can make the rules for its competition" (ESPN, 2/5).
          IF HE LOSES? ESPN's Jimmy Roberts said that PGA Tour
     Commissioner Tim Finchem and former USGA President Judy Bell
     will "perhaps" be the final witnesses.  Roberts reported
     that Martin said that "one of the reasons he may not appeal,
     is because he was told by [U.S. Senator] Tom Harkin that if
     he does lose, it is entirely possible that some action will
     be taken in Congress" (ESPN, 2/5).  But in L.A., Jim Murray
     warned against Congressional intervention and wrote it "has
     no business dictating how" the game of golf should "be
     played."  Murray: "The [ADA] is meant to give the disabled
     an opportunity.  It's not meant to give them an advantage. 
     If it is, it's unconstitutional" (L.A. TIMES, 2/5).
          THEIR WORST NIGHTMARE? Media reaction continues on the
     Martin case: In SI, Rick Reilly, on the Tour's stance:
     "Shame on them. ... Shame on every self-important and greedy
     Tour pro who won't budge an inch of tradition to fit in a
     spoonful of compassion" (SI, 2/9).  In K.C., Jeffrey
     Flanagan PGA Tour comes across as "nothing but a collection
     of predominantly white, wealthy, completely self-centered
     men incapable of envisioning anything beyond their own
     greed" (K.C. STAR, 2/6).  While a PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS
     editorial calls the Tour's stance a PR "disaster," it says
     it is "right to stick by its rules" (PHIL. DAILY NEWS, 2/6). 
          PUBLIC POLICY: A CBS SportsLine poll posted this week
     asked users, "Should the PGA Tour allow disabled golfers to
     ride in carts?"  Of 5,031 respondents, 63% said yes.  In a
     similar survey posted January 28, ESPN SportsZone asked
     whether the PGA Tour's stance on Martin was insensitive.  Of
     the 4,931 respondents, 55% said the Tour's stance was
     insensitive (THE DAILY)....Martin's trial was the subject of
     Thursday's "Talk Back Live" on CNN (2/5).

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