UPDATE: John Daly looked to clarify the situation Monday evening with another tweet, criticizing the USGA again and claiming that ‘no “additional information”‘ was ever requested by the governing body. This story will be updated as more information is released.
In a tweet on Monday morning, John Daly wrote that he was withdrawing from the U.S. Senior Open, blaming the USGA for not allowing him to use a cart during the tournament.
“I had to WD from the U.S. Senior Open. The deterioriating osteoarthritis isn’t helping my rt knee,” Daly wrote. “I fall under the ADANational but USGA turned down a cart for me this week. Just going to give the knee a rest. Don’t know what’s ahead for me.”
The USGA’s rules state that “a disabled player or caddie may be permitted to use a golf cart as an accommodation to his or her disability for those events where golf carts are not allowed.” The USGA evaluates each player’s situaiton on a “case-by-case basis.”
To qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act for a golf cart in competition, players or caddies must submit medical documentation asserting that they have a condition which makes using a golf cart necessary. The USGA may have refused a golf cart if the condition is not covered under the ADA or if giving a player a golf cart would “be fundamentally altering the fairness of the competition.” The ADA only covers conditions that are considered “a substantial impairment.”
On Monday, the USGA tweeted the following statement regarding Daly’s withdrawal.
On Daly’s withdrawal: Each request is reviewed individually. We respect the privacy of all players and cannot discuss any medical conditions. We offered Mr. Daly the opportunity to provide additional information to support his request. He decided to withdraw this morning.
— USGA PR (@USGA_PR) June 25, 2018
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission further defines the as a substantial impairment as “one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning or working.”
Daly’s tweet harkens back to the 2001 Supreme Court case PGA Tour vs. Martin, in which the court ruled that the PGA Tour was subject to the ADA, and therefore was obligated to accommodate players who met the requirements with a golf cart during competition.
Daly and the USGA did not immediately reply to GOLF.com’s request for comment. Daly, however, did add to the situation with another tweet Monday evening.
I’m not going to mislead the media or my fans. No “additional information” was ever requested, or it would have been provided. I “WD” bc @USGA had already made their decision after our exhaustive medical submission. Any claim to the contrary is pure fiction. https://t.co/6EfnBnkqaJ
— John Daly (@PGA_JohnDaly) June 26, 2018