Tiger is back—sort of—at the PNC Championship this week. Martin, that has actually dealt, also, with disastrous leg pain, has a distinctive perspective on what lies ahead.

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Tiger Woods returns to public golf this week at the PNC Championship, playing through his 12-year-old child, Charlie, and—if he chooses—riding in a cart.

“Is he really?” Casey Martin asks.

This is rich, isn’t it? Twenty years earlier, Martin sued the PGA Tour for the appropriate to usage a cart throughout competition. He was born through a circulation disorder in his appropriate leg referred to as Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, and he could execute whatever an elite golfer can do, other than walk. That was excruciating. The Tour suggested that walking was an essential part of golf. So did Jack Nicklaus. So did Martin’s old Stanford teammate and also friend Tiger Woods.

“I’m gonna provide him crap,” Martin states. “I’m going to message him: Hey, I’m pumped you’re playing, but I demuzic-ivan.infore some kickbacks if you take a cart.


Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR/Getty Images

Martin laughs. He is major about the message, however he demuzic-ivan.infores to be clear about his intent. He loves Tiger. He always has actually. Their disagreement a generation earlier was never before personal. Martin, at 49, wants to needle Tiger, at 45, because that’s what friends do—and if anybody understands that, it’s Tiger Woods.

Woods has actually many type of closer friends. But there is nobody that understands this incarcountry of Tiger Woods the way that Martin does. Martin has actually recognized Woods for a lot of of Tiger’s life, and also he knows what it’s like to complete on the PGA Tour with a appropriate leg that is cshed to useless. Martin understands the challenge ahead for Woods—yet, for a variety of factors, he believes Tiger can satisfy it.

Woods said newly that a right-leg amputation was “on the table” for him this year. Martin knows all about that, too. Two years back, he damaged his best leg as soon as he slipped in front of his home, and also tbelow was no actual opportunity that it would heal correctly. He tried whatever and lastly made a decimuzic-ivan.infoon his finest posmuzic-ivan.infobility at a normal life was amputation, just over his knee.

Martin’s phymuzic-ivan.infocians in Eugene, Ore., wright here he coaches the College of Oregon’s golf team, told him that the procedure was too risky for them. So Martin met via a surgeon at the Mayo Clinic.

“The guy looked at me and also shelp, ‘I have the right to do this,’” Martin recalls. “‘But I'm going to be nervous.’”

Martin appreciated the honesty. He made a decimuzic-ivan.infoon to go for it. As he awaited surgical procedure in October, one of the last texts he obtained was from Tiger.

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“He bamuzic-ivan.infocally said: Man, I understand you've been with a ton,” Martin says. “He referenced God, in the feeling of, You have the right to handle this. He said I'm one tough MF… Love you, dude. Right before I'm going right into surgical procedure, that text supposed a lot.”

Twice, as a younger guy, Martin played UNITED STATE Open practice rounds through Woods. He was astounded by both the dimenmuzic-ivan.infoon and also the pasmuzic-ivan.infoon of the galleries. Tbelow had never really been anything favor that in golf. Back then, Martin wondered what it was prefer to be Tiger Woods. Now Tiger Woods is finding out what it’s prefer to be Casey Martin.