The USA Today's Jeffrey Martin files a follow up to the Casey Martin story out of Oceanside and while it sounds like everyone was following the letter of the (USGA) laws, common sense went out the window as it did the first time around in Martin's attempts to use a cart.
Only this time, he's a mere spectator on a course where rules officials were no doubt driving all over the place as they are prone to do!
Martin, 41, pleaded with Pawlak, also assistant director of rules, competition and course rating for the Southern California Golf Association.
"I said, 'Man, I went to the Supreme Court, and I know what my rights are. Do they know my story?'" Martin said. "And he said, 'Yes, they know.'
"I said, 'Let me ride this.' He apologized but said he couldn't. I said, 'I know I can use this cart, but if not, can you or someone take me around?' He said, 'We can take you to a point on the course and drop you. We can't cart you around.'"
The SCGA also issued a statement, distancing themselves from the USGA policy they were charged to enforce as hosts of the qualifier:
"We are sorry for the confusion caused by our misunderstanding of how to apply the USGA's policy," the statement read. "We alerted Mr. Martin as soon as we were notified by the USGA that we were not properly enforcing their policy. We then attempted to accommodate Mr. Martin in every way available within the guidelines of the USGA policy, but he declined assistance."
Again, I ask...if they did not have "scooters" available for him to use, doesn't common sense say you provide the next best option, a cart, so that he can do his job?
Having seen Martin in action in a cart at both U.S. Opens he played ('98, '12) and also at the recent Pac-12 Championship, he's far from taking advantage of the privilege of getting a cart and I don't know a coach or player on the planet that begrudges him for using one. And using a cart he certainly shows better respect for sensitive turfgrass than many of the rules officials who abuse the privilege!
**Grantland's Shane Ryan has a less than flattering take on the Martin situation and the Executive Committee.