Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

USGA's Turn Irks Martin

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

USGA's Turn Irks Martin

Article excerpt

After publicly supporting Casey Martin when he qualified for the

U.S. Open, the USGA has since filed a 40-page brief siding with

the PGA Tour in its appeal of a federal court ruling last

February that allowed Martin to play on the Nike and PGA Tour

using a golf cart.

And Martin is bitter about it.

"They treated me well [at the Olympic Club], and some officials

walked up to wish me luck," Martin wrote in an article for WE, a

lifestyle magazine for disabled people. "Then . . . I got by

mail [the brief] siding with the PGA [Tour]. They [the USGA]

were saying `great job, go get 'em,' all the while they were

drafting that brief."

Marty Parkes, a spokesman for the USGA, said: "We have nothing

against Casey Martin. But the USGA feels strongly that all

players in a national championship should be treated

identically."

Officials of the PGA of America and the Augusta National Golf

Club, which operate the PGA Championship and the Masters, have

already said they will allow Martin to use a cart if he

qualifies for their events. The Royal and Ancient, which runs

the British Open, will not allow Martin the use of a cart if he

qualifies for that championship.

WE'RE IN THE MONEY -- At obvious glance, the three hottest

golfers in the past 12 months are David Duval of Jacksonville,

Vijay Singh of Ponte Vedra Beach and Davis Love III of St.

Simons Island, Ga. Date the genesis of their current rolls back

to last August, when Singh and Love won significant events,

followed by Duval's victories in the final three tournaments, in

October.

Since then, they are the top three moneywinners on Tour, a span

of 51 tournaments. On the strength of six victories, including

last week's NEC World Series of Golf, Duval has won $3,401,233.

Singh has earned $2,227,603, highlighted by winning the PGA and

Sprint International back-to-back last month. Love's 1997 PGA

title and this year's MCI Classic championship have helped him

earn $2,184,824.

OPTIMISTIC REPORT -- Hurricane Earl already has affected the

Senior PGA Tour Emerald Coast Classic this week in Milton,

washing out yesterday's pro-am and dumping enough rain to

threaten today's second pro-am. …

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