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Despite the controversy surrounding him and his lawsuit for the right to ride, Martin has nothing but the best memories of Olympic in 1998. He had sued the PGA Tour for a right to ride a cart. He qualified for the U.S. Open, and because a court had issued a temporary injunction against the tour, the USGA went along with it and let him ride.

He played a practice round with Tiger Woods, his old teammate at Stanford, before thousands of fans. He was more nervous than ever, especially with a 3:10 p.m. tee time in the first round. He opened with a 74, followed with a 71 to easily make the cut and wound up with a tie for 23rd.

A year later, Martin earned a spot on the PGA Tour through the Nationwide Tour. And in 2000, the Supreme Court upheld his lawsuit against the tour. Martin played one year on tour and never returned to the big leagues.

“I probably wouldn’t have thought I would be coaching,” he said. “When I was going through my trial and through my challenges, I didn’t have a real long-term vision of professional golf. I thought it would be a pretty short window. And so here I am, 40. Even though I’m not playing for a living, I’m still playing. And so I’m grateful for that.”

Martin has a practice round scheduled on Tuesday with Woods, and the gallery figures to be enormous. That’s how it was during their practice round in 1998, though Martin was playing the Nationwide Tour and accustomed to a regular diet of competition.

His return to Olympic has been overwhelming, only he feels less prepared for it.

“It kind of feels like 1998 all over again with a lot of the attention, and it’s great,” Martin said. “I’m totally flattered, but last week it was a very challenging week for me. Just a lot of demands on my time. I’m just not built for this. I don’t have an agent. I just kind of live my life. Then all of a sudden it was just kind of being bombarded.”

It’s a nice problem to have, especially with a return to Olympic for another U.S. Open. With his right leg, Martin has learned to expect nothing and appreciate everything. With or without the U.S. Open, he feels life has given him plenty.

“We have the mindset as parents that we want our kids to grow up to be a stud superstar,” King Martin said. “When I see how God has a totally different design for his life, and it’s much more incredible that I could designed, for me to guess where it’s going next is beyond me. I’m so grateful that he’s had such an extraordinary life to this point. We all go along for the ride, take it day by day and trust what whatever comes, comes.

“I don’t want to lose the fact how grateful we are he is where he is.”

The player in Martin knows what he’s up against, and it goes beyond a right leg that makes it painful to even walk. The opening six holes at Olympic are brutal, and the U.S. Open no matter where it’s played is called the toughest test in golf for a reason.

“People have been coming up to me this week going, `Way to go, I’m so excited for you, you have to be so excited.’ And I am. I want to make it clear that I really am excited to be here,” Martin said. “But there’s also in the back of your mind the little fear factor of, `I have to play this golf course.’ And I don’t play or practice like a lot of these guys do and yet I still want to compete.”