It seems impossible to believe so much time has passed, but we're a decade from one of the most controversial decisions in golf history. Casey Martin, an All-American golfer and college teammate of Tiger Woods, sought permission to use a cart in competition because of a debilitating illness that withered his right leg. But the tour declined, saying that Martin would receive an unfair advantage. That set off years of debate and legal wrangling that reached all the way to the Supreme Court.
On May 29, 2001, the Court allowed Martin the right to use the cart. In doing so, it went against the wishes and aims not only of the PGA Tour, but of luminaries like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Both legends supported the tour, as you can see in this video here.
Martin is now the head golf coach at Oregon, and his story will be profiled this weekend on ESPN's "Outside the Lines." He only made one cut on tour, even after the ruling, but says he bears no "ill will" toward the PGA Tour. "I look back and say 'thanks' in a lot of ways, because certainly when you have that tension and that drama, it makes for a great story," he said, "and people want to be around it, and it's kind of made me in a lot of sense, who I am today."
The Casey Martin OTL special premieres Sunday morning at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN, and will surely be repeated plenty of times afterward.
And since there wasn't a Devil Ball at the time of the ruling, let's have it out here: What are your thoughts on the Casey Martin situation? Should he have been allowed to use a cart, or was it a competitive imbalance? Have your say.