Oregon men’s golf coach Casey Martin is recovering at a Rochester, Minnesota, hospital after undergoing an amputation of his right leg.
Martin had the surgery, a three-and-a-half-hour procedure that amputated the leg just above the knee, on Friday afternoon at Mayo Clinic, according to Golf Digest. Martin’s older brother, Cameron Martin, told Digest that the operation was successful and that doctors feel they were able to save enough of Martin’s upper leg to give him a “good shot” at fitting into a prosthetic once his leg heals.
The 49-year-old Martin has had issues with the leg since birth, specifically dealing with a type of circulatory disorder called Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, which makes walking difficult. A standout player, having won a national team title at Stanford and later on the Nike Tour (now called the Korn Ferry Tour), Martin famously sued the PGA Tour – and won – for the right to use a cart because of his disability, a case that made its way to the Supreme Court.
Martin, who has served as Oregon’s head coach since 2006 and won an NCAA title in 2016 at Eugene Country Club, had been coaching the past two years in a cast after breaking his right tibia in October 2019 after road construction outside of his home caused him to step wrong off a curb while bringing in his trash cans at night.
“I’ve lived with this fear all my life that if I break it, I’m probably going to lose it,” Martin told GolfChannel.com a few weeks after the accident. “If it’s healing, then it’s a long process for me, probably longer than most. But if it’s not healing well, then we’re going to have to look at other options.”
Despite treatment, though, Martin’s leg never healed properly. He’s managed to coach the Ducks through the ordeal, most recently at the Colonial Collegiate two weeks ago in Fort Worth, Texas, but his team knew at the beginning of the fall that Martin’s amputation was imminent.
Jeff Quinney, a former PGA Tour player and current Oregon assistant, will fill in for Martin during his recovery.
The Ducks, who were 13th out of 15 teams at Colonial and haven’t finished better than sixth in three fall starts, cap their fall Nov. 8-10 at the St. Mary’s Invitational at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach, California.
“In many ways I exceeded what my doctors told me as a kid,” Martin told Digest at Colonial. “I always felt this would be my destiny, so while it’s weird to be here now, about to become seriously disfigured, it’s not unexpected.”