NEW YORK — 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 past few weeks, reported on its website that he had surgery Friday and was recovering at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His brother said doctors feel it went well enough that Martin has a good shot at an effective prosthesis.
Martin 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 U.S. Supreme Court, which voted 7-2 in his favor in a 2001 decision.
Martin, a teammate of Tiger Woods on Stanford’s national championship team, has been the head golf coach at Oregon since 2006. He qualified for the U.S. Open in 2012.
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.”
Jeff Quinney, the 2000 U.S. Amateur champion and assistant coach at Oregon, will take over while Martin recovers.