Appeal dismissed


The Disabled American golfer Casey Martin has defeated the US Professional Golf Association and must be allowed to use a cart for all future PGA events, a US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

The 27-year-old was a team-mate of Tiger Woods while studying at Stanford University but suffers from Klippel-Trenaunay-Webber Syndrome, a circulatory disorder which renders him incapable of walking an entire course.

Martin earned his first full Tour card last year and has competed on the circuit this year using his cart, pending an appeal by the PGA against a 1998 ruling which also went in his favour.

He has made three out of five cuts this season and enjoyed his best performance on the Tour at last week's Touchstone Energy Tucson Open, with a tied-17th finish earning him a £23,000 cheque.

The PGA's argument was that allowing Martin to use a cart would take the fatigue factor out of the game.

However, Thomas Coffin, the US magistrate who passed the initial ruling in Martin's favour, decreed that stress and motivation were of greater consequence than fatigue, which he determined not to be a major factor in the game. His decision was upheld by a unanimous 3-0 majority.