The last time the U.S. Open visited the Olympic Club in San Francisco it was 1998 and Casey Martin rode in his golf cart all the way to a T23 finish. Now, in between coaching at the University of Oregon, he is on the cusp of making his grand return fourteen years later, reports Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Martin, who suffers from a birth defect known as Klippel Trenaunay Weber syndrome in his right leg, created buzz as he filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour in 1997 that would allow him to use a cart in competition.
As the appeals process began its three-year odyssey – the tour argued that walking is a fundamental part of the game and that no player should be permitted to use a cart – media attention engulfed Martin. It crested at the Olympic Club, from his Monday practice round with Woods to his first two rounds alongside 1994 Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal.
In 2001, Martin successfully won his Supreme Court decision against the PGA Tour and is now only 36 holes away from bringing his golf cart back to Olympic.
It remains a wild longshot, but he could create one of the coolest stories of this 112th U.S. Open. Martin hadn't even entered Open qualifying in five years, because his coaching duties leave him little time to practice or play, but he couldn't resist the nostalgic lure of Olympic.
He went out and shot 2-under-par 70 in local qualifying May 7 in Vancouver, Wash., good enough to advance to the next stage. Martin will take his crack at sectional qualifying – a grueling, 36-hole test – June 4 in Creswell, Ore.
"It's going to have to be an act of God," he said before advancing through locals. "I'm doing this to see if you can catch lightning in a bottle."
Just imagine the circus Martin will generate if he really does qualify for next month's Open. His story would come full circle – from one U.S. Open at the Olympic Club to the next, from aspiring tour pro and legal crusader to content college coach and improbable Open qualifier.
While the pressure is now fully on Martin, he did get a bit of a reprieve from the USGA while filling out his entry form for the U.S. Open and the elaborate application requesting a cart for competition.
Given his history – more than a bit well-documented – Martin asked some folks at the USGA if he really needed to complete all the paperwork. They told him to skip it.
OSU misses the cut For the first time in school history, Oklahoma State University's men's golf team has failed to advance to the NCAA Championship, reports Golf Channel.
The Cowboys failed to qualify for the finals at Riviera C.C. when they finished eighth out of 13 teams in the Ann Arbor (Mich.) regional tournament on Saturday. The five-man team finished at 11 over par in the 54-hole event. The team was 14 shots shy of the fifth-place cutoff to advance to the finals, to be played May 29-June 3.
Oklahoma State had advanced to the NCAA championship in each year of the program's existence, dating back to 1947.
During the last 60 seasons, OSU's golf program has notched 10 national championships, 8 individual national championships and 49 conference championships while claiming alumni such as Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Charles Howell III, Bob Tway and Trip Kuehne.
Two-time defending champs Augusta State also missed out on the opportunity to claim a third consecutive title, finishing four shots out of qualifying through the Athens, Ga. regional. Deron Williams hits Chelsea Piers Because the New Jersey Nets are absolutely terrible, Deron Williams has a lot of time on his hands these days before he is inevitably traded to either the Mavericks or the Heat. So, like any golf aficionado in New York City with some time to kill, Williams made his way to Chelsea Piers. Color me impressed. Hank Haney, on the other hand?
Looks like D.A. Points is reaching for a dinner date, though.
On-course rivals Though the exact details are uncertain, a reader sent in this photo to Deadspin of two newlyweds posing in their Miami Dolphins garb with New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan while he enjoyed a round of golf. It's unclear whether or not the couple were married while wearing their Miami Dolphin jerseys or just had them on hand because that's the sort of thing Miami fans do. Either way, good on Ryan to take the time to pose with his fierce rivals. What was not documented, however, was Sal Alosi tripping the bride as she made her way down the aisle. Tweet of the Day Bubba Watson is set to make his return at the Memorial Tournament, but that's only if he doesn't get a better offer in the meantime.