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‘I Would Never Do That’: Tiger Woods Solidifies Stance on Using a Golf Cart

Following his withdrawal from this week’s Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods was asked whether he would ever take a golf cart in a PGA Tour event. The answer was a firm “no.”

“On the PGA Tour, no,” said Woods, speaking from Albany in Nassau, Bahamas. “On the sanctioned events where it’s allowed? Yes. Which is the Champions Tour, the PNC, things of that nature.”

On Monday, the 15-time major champion announced his decision to withdraw from the Hero World Challenge—his own event—citing plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Currently, walking causes Woods pain and can worsen the foot condition. Woods sustained severe injuries in his right leg and ankle in a single-car accident in February 2021. When asked whether the plantar fasciitis is related to those injuries, Woods confirmed, “Yes, it is.”

The Hero World Challenge is a no-cut 72-hole tournament, which would require Woods to walk 18 holes for four consecutive days of competition. However, in the two other competitive events Woods is set to play in the coming weeks—The Match on Dec. 10 with Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas, and the PNC Championship on Dec. 16–17 with his son, Charlie—golf carts are sanctioned.

“The father-son will be a very easy week. Charlie will just hit all the shots, and I’ll just get the putts out of the hole, so pretty easy there,” Woods said. “But other than that, in The Match … we’re flying in carts.”

Woods’s stance on using golf carts on the PGA Tour is not a new one, and he made sure to acknowledge that to the media on Tuesday. Woods attended Stanford with former PGA Tour player and now Oregon men’s golf coach, Casey Martin. In 2001, Martin sued the PGA Tour under the Americans with Disabilities Act for the right to use a golf cart during tournaments. Martin has Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome in his right leg, which he had amputated above the knee in ’21. The lawsuit, PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices ruled in favor of Martin. They declared that the ADA prevents the PGA Tour from requiring Martin to walk.

“You know, my teammate was Casey Martin, O.K.?” Tiger said. “What he did with the ADA, I voted against it. I think [walking] is an integral part of the game, at our level. I will never take a golf cart until it is sanctioned. It is sanctioned on the Champions Tour, and PNC is part of that. As far as a regular event, no, I would never do that.”

Woods’s stance on Martin’s case was in alignment with golf greats Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, who testified that walking is an integral part of competitive golf.

As for Woods’s playing ability when he is permitted to take a golf cart, his shotmaking expertise is still very much there.

“When I was at home, I was shooting four, five, six, seven under par like it was nothing, but I was in a cart,” said Woods. “Now you add in walking and that goes away.”

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