Former Major Champion Criticises Cart Policy After Senior PGA Championship Withdrawal

Mark Calcavecchia claimed he was denied the use of the cart despite fellow competitor Bernhard Langer being allowed to use one

Mark Calcavecchia hits a driver and watches it in the air
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Open champion Mark Calcavecchia has criticised the PGA of America's policy on golf carts after he withdrew midway through the first round of the Senior PGA Championship. 

Calcavecchia, who won the 1989 Open at Royal Troon, was seven-over-par after 13 holes at Harbor Shores when he decided to pull out of the tournament. The American underwent spinal fusion surgery in 2021 and continues to deal with knee issues but was not allowed to use a cart during competition this week. 

Calcavecchia, though, was perplexed at the decision, especially as fellow competitor Bernhard Langer was approved to use one. The German, who ruptured his Achilles in February, returned in early April but still faces difficulty walking for prolonged periods. 

"Welp the @PGA screwed me. Langer got a cart. Not me," Calcavecchia wrote on social media after withdrawing on Thursday. 

"Nothing against Langer. Love the guy. He’s got repaired Achilles and came back too soon. I get it. I’ve got repaired back and knees. No cart for me. What’s the difference @PGA?"

While players can use carts in regular PGA Tour Champions events, they are not allowed in a few bigger events and the Majors unless a player has an ADA [Americans With Disabilities Act] exemption.

Langer, who finished T8 in his second tournament back from injury, noted before the tournament that he would not have returned so quickly if he was not able to use a cart. 

"I had to apply for [the American Disabilities Act (ADA), got the ADA,” Langer explained earlier in the week.

“If it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t be playing golf anywhere right now because I can’t walk 18 holes. It’s not just this week; it’s every week for a few more months. You can put me on the flattest golf course anywhere in the world. I can’t walk that long. Standing for five hours and walking is not on right now."

At the top of the leaderboard, LIV Golf star Richard Bland holds a one-shot lead over Scott Dunlap at the halfway stage. 

The Englishman is making his maiden appearance in a senior Major championship but will have to fight off an impressive chasing pack that also includes the likes of Chris DiMarco, Ernie Els, Mike Weir, Steve Stricker and Stewart Cink.

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.