Casey Martin is in the news again. He was at a qualifier as a spectator, riding in a cart after getting permission from the tournament chairman. The chairman apparently didn't check with the USGA though, who asked him to relinquish the cart after he had used it for 5 or 6 holes.
The USGA has a longstanding policy about cart use by players and caddies at its championships. Disabled spectators can drive a single-rider, scooter cart from hole to hole -- if such carts are available -- or can be transported to certain viewing spots along the course. Martin said he had spoken with officials in advance about his need to ride. He was given a normal-sized cart but was stopped five or six holes along. The USGA says he was offered alternate transportation to specified locations but declined.
The USGA released a statement on the incident that stops short of an apology:
"The United States Golf Assn. has been and continues to be a strong supporter of Casey Martin. The unfortunate situation at the U.S. Junior qualifier stems from a misunderstanding over the USGA Cart Policy at our championship events. We regret that this misunderstanding may have caused Casey an inconvenience, but it certainly was unintentional. We have extended to Casey accommodations that we offer all disabled spectators at our championships...
I get that it sucks to have to give up the cart once he's been using it, but as an alternative he was offered the exact same accommodations that every other disabled spectator is offered, and it wasn't good enough for him.
He won me over as a nice guy even though I didn't agree with the Supreme Court decision that allowed him to use a cart while competing. But I'm not sure why he expects special treatment over and above any other disabled person.