Casey Martin, who successfully sued the PGA Tour to gain the right to use a golf cart during tournaments, had his right leg amputated on Friday, Golf Digest reported.
Martin was in recovery Saturday at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota after reportedly having the leg amputated above the knee.
The 49-year-old Martin was born with a rare circulatory disease that affected the blood vessels in his lower right leg.
The condition, known as Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, led to Martin’s fight with the PGA to use a cart. Martin, who earned a PGA Tour card for the 2000 season, said the condition of his leg made it impossible to walk all 18 holes.
He cited the Americans with Disabilities Act and his lawsuit made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The vote was 7-2 in Martin’s favor.
Though Martin has had life-long troubles with the leg, the road toward amputation began when he broke the leg two years ago. Reportedly, the tibia was unable to heal despite being in a cast and repeated injections also didn’t help.
“In many ways I exceeded what my doctors told me as a kid,” Martin recently told Golf Digest. “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.”
Martin, who has been men’s golf coach at Oregon since 2006, was a college teammate of Tiger Woods at Stanford. His PGA playing career was brief, participating in just 43 events with 29 of those coming in 2000 when he made 14 cuts and had one top 25 finish.
He appeared in just nine events over the next five years before landing the coaching gig. Martin also played in two events in 2012.
The Oregon native also played in two U.S. Opens, finishing in a tie for 23rd in 1998 and missing the cut in 2012.
According to the PGA Tour, Martin earned $206,874 as a player.
Martin told Golf Digest he expects to be fitted with a prosthesis and feels he will be able to play better golf — and maybe even tournament golf — once he recovers.
Oregon won the 2016 national team title and placed second in 2017.
–Field Level Media