I've still got a chance. With two events left in the Nike tour
season, I've got to play well. After winning the Lakeland
Classic in January, I've dropped to 27th on the Nike money list.
Only the top 15 qualify for next year's PGA Tour. I need another
$40,000 or so to make the top 15, which means I'll probably have
to win again. It's been a great year in many ways, but now I'm
in a tough spot.
I'm a little frustrated with my game. Physically, I'm O.K.
Riding a cart all year has kept my right leg from getting worse.
In fact, the leg feels better than it ever has so late in the
season. Mentally, though, this year has been a grind, with so
many demands on my time that my life on the Nike tour is
drastically different from anybody else's. I can never play golf
and go home. There are clinics, which I like doing, and press
conferences, which I'm still learning to enjoy. Last month was
busy--I finished 28th at the Oregon Classic, my hometown
tournament, and changed agencies. My agent, Chris Murray, left
Jim Lehman's Signature Sports Group to start his own firm, Imani
Sports, and I went with him. It was nothing against Jim, but
Chris has worked hard for me. It was only right to stay with him.
Here's another change: Next month I'm moving back home to
Eugene, where I've bought a house. I miss my family, I miss
Oregon, and it makes no sense to pay rent in Foster City,
Calif., when I'm hardly ever there.
I feel I'm capable of better golf than I've shown. There is one
big paycheck left to shoot for, at the Nike Tour Championship,
Oct. 22-25 in Semmes, Ala. I'll be there to try for it. After
that, who knows? I don't believe in destiny, but I do think God
has a plan for me, whether I play the Nike tour, the PGA Tour,
somewhere else or not at all.
Casey Martin finished 45th last week at the San Jose Open.
COLOR PHOTO: DARREN CARROLL [Casey Martin]