SBD/Issue 88/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Staying On The Cart Path? PGA Tour Facing New Lawsuit

Purtzer Part Of Champions Tour Group
Suing PGA Tour For Carts

Several Champions Tour players are planning to file a lawsuit against the PGA Tour seeking to “overturn the tour’s refusal to allow the use of carts in tournament rounds,” according to GOLFWEEK’s Jeff Babineau. The suit will likely “cite age discrimination among its grounds.” Champions Tour golfer Tom Purtzer, who said that “roughly ‘10 to 12 players’ are hindered” by the cart policy, and other players have consulted with attorney Leonard Decof, who repped Ping in the square grooves lawsuit against the PGA Tour. Purtzer: “He wants to sue the tour for a bunch of money, and we don’t want to do that. All we want is the ability to be able to use a cart.” Purtzer added that the carts are “basically a ‘pet peeve’” of Champions Tour President Rick George and PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. Purtzer: “They’ve had carts for 25 years, and all of a sudden it’s a problem. I just don’t understand it. It’s an issue that’s really divided the tour.” George: “It has to do with image. It has to do with the fan. We think it’s better for the fans and the viewers and provides a better look to our broadcasts, and it’s better for the condition of the golf course” (GOLFWEEK, 1/29 issue). GOLFWORLD’s Ron Sirak notes because the PGA Tour in May ’01 lost Casey Martin’s lawsuit seeking use of a cart for medical reasons, Champions Tour players can use carts if they qualify under the Americans With Disabilities Act (GOLFWORLD, 1/28 issue).

CART ATTACK: A GOLFWEEK editorial states the “use of carts in serious competition contradicts the argument that golf is an athletic endeavor. ... Under [George], the over-50 circuit has actively sought to portray itself not as an exhibition of golden oldies, but an arena for serious competition among mature golfers” (GOLFWEEK, 1/29 issue).

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