Oregon Ducks coach Casey Martin missed the cut following Round 2 of the 2012 U.S. Open. He was disappointed in that showing, but given his unique circumstances even that was a substantial accomplishment. Martin hadn't played competitive golf in six years, and it was his first major tournament in 14 years. As he told ESPN, that long of a layoff presents big challenges in a return:
"It was the thought process, getting used to a routine of what you think about on every shot," Martin said. "I was hearing voices out there at times because there's so many 'Is this the right club?' (decisions). The biggest thing is actually just thinking like a great player. That's the challenge when you haven't done it and you have some bad shots that creep in there. That certainly was rusty."
Martin also deals with the circumstances of his disability, and the physical and legal challenges that have resulted from that:
Whatever complaints most golfers have this week will pale next to the challenge in front of Casey Martin. Eleven years ago, Martin forced the curmudgeonly golf establishment to bend a bit to let him play. Tiger Woods' old Stanford teammate suffered from Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, a rare circulatory disorder that has left him with a withered right leg, making it painful for him to walk. He asked the PGA Tour to let him use a cart to play. The Tour said no, so in 1997, Martin sued the Tour, and in 2001, after a four-year legal battle, the disabled golfer won his case when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law requires a leveling of the playing field for the handicapped, even in pro sports.
Martin's own comments on his play, however, focused only on his efforts, ability and luck. As he told Oregon Live:
"I'm disappointed right now," [...] "I wasn't really happy with the way I played today," Martin said. [...] Martin, 40, was flummoxed by Olympic's small, extremely fast greens. "I hit a lot of putts that looked good," he said. "The speed just didn't quite match. I was on the edges for a lot of 20-, 30-footers and never really got one to drop. I needed a couple to go in."
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