Casey Martin, the Oregon golf coach who successfully sued the PGA Tour for the right to use a cart because of a rare circulatory disease, had his right leg amputated in what he told Golf Digest was always going to be “my destiny.”
The magazine, which has been in touch with Martin over the last few weeks, reported on its website that he had surgery Friday and was recovering at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His brother said doctors feel it went well enough that Martin has a good shot at an effective prosthesis.
Martin, a teammate of Tiger Woods on Stanford’s national championship team, suffered from Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, which restricted circulation in the lower portion of his right leg and made it virtually impossible for him to walk 18 holes. He still managed to practice and play well enough to earn a PGA Tour card for the 2000 season.
His lawsuit citing the Americans with Disabilities Act made it all the way to the US Supreme Court, which voted 7-2 in his favor in a 2001 decision.
The magazine said Martin, 49, broke his right leg two years ago, which eventually led to the decision to amputate when being in a cast and a series of injections failed to heal the tibia.
“In many ways I exceeded what my doctors told me as a kid,” Martin told Golf Digest two weeks ago. “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.”
PGA — Rickie Fowler returned to the spotlight Saturday in the foothills above Las Vegas with his best round in three years, a 9-under-par 63 that gave him a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy going into the final round of the CJ Cup at Summit.
Fowler hasn’t had an opportunity this good since his last victory on the PGA Tour in the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and it doesn’t figure to be easy at The Summit Club with all the low scores it has been yielding.
McIlroy started the day nine shots out of the lead, ran off five straight birdies on the front nine and then took care of the scoring holes, closing with a 7-iron into 20 feet for eagle on the par-5 18th hole for a 62.
Fowler, who has plunged to No. 128 in the world ranking, birdied three of his last five holes and was at 21-under 195.
“I haven’t been there a lot the last couple of years, so it’s nice to be back in that position,” Fowler said. “It’s been a long time coming. It’s been a long road, tough times. We’re not done.’’
Nine players were within five shots of the lead, and anything goes at this tournament.
Champions — Miguel Angel Jimenez eagled the par-5 17th for a 4-under 68 for a share of the second-round lead with Alex Cejka in the PGA Tour Champions’ SAS Championship in Cary, N.C.
Cejka shot a 67 in the round delayed 90 minutes late in the afternoon because of rain to match Jimenez at 9-under 135 at Prestonwood Country Club.
Bernhard Langer (66) was a stroke back with Scott Dunlap (68) and first-round leader Scott Parel (71). Langer, the tournament winner in 2012 and 2018, leads the Charles Schwab Cup points race.
European — English golfer Laurie Canter is eyeing his first European Tour win after taking a 3-shot lead of the Andalucía Masters heading into the final round. Canter carded 4-under 67 after making eight birdies to double up his four bogeys. That left him 7 under after three days at the Real Club Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain.