FILE PHOTO: Golf – The 146th Open Championship – Royal Birkdale – Southport, Britain – July 18, 2017 England’s Nick Faldo runs down the first fairway with The Claret Jug during a practice round REUTERS/Hannah McKay
(Reuters) – Six-times major champion Nick Faldo questioned the decision to grant John Daly special dispensation to ride a cart at next week’s PGA Championship in New York because the American suffers from arthritis in his right knee.
The 53-year-old Daly, who won the tournament in 1991, has been given the all clear by the PGA of America to use a cart instead of walking at Bethpage Black under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“I think walking is an integral part of being a pro golfer,” Englishman Faldo said during a conference call on Wednesday to promote CBS’s coverage of the championship.
“I’ll leave it at that.”
Daly was denied permission to ride a cart at last year’s U.S. Senior Open, but he regularly rides on the 50-and-over Champions Tour, where it is allowed.
He will be the first player not to walk at a major since Casey Martin at the 2012 U.S. Open.
Martin, who has a painful birth defect that restricts circulation in the lower portion of his right leg, was famously denied permission to use a cart on the PGA Tour.
He sued the tour and the matter went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, which by a 7-2 margin ruled in 2001 that the tour could decide its own policy on the matter.
Then tour commissioner Tim Finchem argued at the time that the tour should have the right to make its own rules and regulations, and that walking was an integral part of the game, a line reiterated by Faldo on Wednesday.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina