Former PGA Tour golfer and current Oregon golf coach Casey Martin had his right leg amputated on Friday, according to Golf Digest.
Martin’s right leg was amputated above the knee due to a rare circulatory disorder he’s had since birth. Martin is now in recovery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Though it’s certainly not a positive thing, Martin said he knew it was coming.
“In many ways I exceeded what my doctors told me as a kid,” Martin told Golf Digest two weeks ago. “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.”
Martin has suffered from Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome since he was born, something that has restricted the circulation in the lower part of his right leg. He actually broke his leg two years ago after taking a wrong step outside of his home.
His leg never healed fully from that accident, which led in part to his amputation.
It was his disease that led him to actually file a lawsuit against the PGA Tour in order to get the right to use a cart. That case went all the way up to the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor in 2001.
Martin played one full season on Tour in 2000, and finished inside the top 25 just one time — at the Touchstone Energy Tucson Open, where he finished T17. He last competed at the U.S. Open and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in 2012, though he missed the cut at both.
Martin, who won a national championship at Stanford alongside Tiger Woods, took over as the head golf coach at Oregon in 2006.
Though he has a long way to go, Martin’s brother said doctors are hopeful that he will make a full recovery.
“The doctors prepared us for the worst-case scenario,” his brother, Cameron, told Golf Digest. “But the report is [the doctors] feel it went well, as they were able to save as much of the bone above the knee as they had hoped. This should give him a good shot at a prosthesis that will be effective.”