A transgender golfer who competed in college on a men’s team recently won a women’s mini-tour event and now hopes to compete in the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
Hailey Davidson, who underwent sex reassignment surgery in January, shot -2 over two rounds last week in the National Women’s Golf Association match at Providence Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. She edged LPGA player Perrine Delacour by one stroke to win the event.
That very same day the United States Golf Association revealed that Davidson met its gender policy eligibility criteria and would be able to compete in the organization’s events, GolfWeek reported.
According to the news outlet, the 28-year-old golfer hopes to hear similar news from the LPGA soon.
“I’m not just going to be stuck on mini-tours,” said Davidson, who reportedly last competed as a male in 2015 at a U.S. Open qualifying tournament in Jupiter, Florida.
With the win last week, Davidson is believed to have become the first transgender person to win a professional golf tournament in the U.S.
In a statement to GolfWeek, the LPGA’s chief tour operations officer, Heather Daly-Donofrio, said, “We are currently reviewing Hailey’s application to participate in LPGA Tour events under the LPGA’s gender policy. The policy is designed to be a private and confidential process between the LPGA and the athlete.”
Davidson, who currently works in social media for NBC’s Peacock division under the Golf Channel umbrella, reportedly started taking hormone treatments in preparation for a sex change in 2015. Before that, Davidson played on the men’s golf team at Christopher Newport University.
GolfWeek reported that since beginning hormone treatment, Davidson’s swing has lost 9 mph, resulting in drives from the tee that are now 30 yards shorter. Davidson has also reportedly lost 90 pounds over the last year and has avoided weight training of any kind to trim muscle mass.
“Any advantage that existed is fully gone,” the athlete insisted.
In 2010, after a transgender person filed a lawsuit against the tour, the LPGA eliminated its requirement that players be “female at birth.” Then earlier this year, the organization removed a rule that specified that transgender golfers had to wait two years after sex reassignment surgeries to compete.
The changes, which alongside significant cultural pressure, could help Davidson became the first biological male to ever make it into the nation’s top women’s professional golf tour.
Author : Phil Shiver