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Transgender golfer Hailey Davidson WINS a tournament in Florida and is now set to claim one of five women’s spots on a prestigious tour that aims to give female players ‘opportunities to grow’

A transgender golfer has managed to secure a spot on a prestigious tour specifically designed to provide «growth opportunities» for female players.

Hailey Davidson, 30, who was born in Scotland but now lives in Florida, has long sought to become the first transgender woman to earn a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tournament card – and has moved one step closer to her goal.

Davidson won the NXXT Women’s Classic at the Mission Inn Resort and Club near Orlando, Florida.

Securing the win gives Davidson access to the Epson Tour, which grants exemptions to the top five players.

Hailey Davidson, 30, won the NXXT Women’s Classic at the Mission Inn Resort and Club near Orlando, Florida. It gives her access to the Epson Tour, which grants exemptions to the top five players

The Epson Tour is a qualifying tour for the LPGA Tour Card that Davidson has pursued. The LPGA Tour dropped the requirement that female golfers be «female at birth» in 2010.

Davidson won the NXXT Women’s Classic at the Mission Inn Resort and Club near Orlando, Florida, and was more than 100 points ahead of her nearest rival.

The Tour is an LPGA qualifying event for which Davidson’s Tour Card was sought.

News of the win sparked outrage online, with many pointing out how Davidson would likely be able to hit the ball further than a player born female.

The LPGA Tour removed the requirement that female golfers be «female at birth» in 2010.

However, Davidson’s very presence as a trans-woman removes one of these stains on the cisgender woman.

The irony of Davidson’s victory is that the exemptions were specifically put in place to allow female golfers to compete on the Epson Tour and provide female golfers with «unparalleled opportunities for professional growth».

Davidson lauded her win at the X, writing: “Finally able to get my 4th professional win after a two hole playoff… It also moved me to #1 on the Season Rankings for two Epson Tour exemptions!

“But most importantly, I thank absolutely everyone who has supported me, from my fellow contestants to all of you who I may not have had the chance to meet yet. Thank you all for helping me overcome any hate and making me feel loved.”

Davidson told Golf Week that the ‘trans thing’ is also a source of anxiety for her as well.

“I think that’s what frustrates me the most. If I play badly, people will feel entitled – ‘Well, she played badly and she wasn’t good enough.’ – If I do something good, it won’t be because I put my whole life into it… it would be because I’m trans.

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«I want to make sure everything I do is positive to the point where people can’t say anything negative,» she said. ‘I don’t get up on the first tee and say ‘Oh, I’m Hailey. “I’m trans. When it comes, it comes.’

Davidson’s very presence as a trans-woman removes one of the tour’s spots from a cisgender woman

Hailey Davidson, 30, appears to be on track to become the first transgender woman to earn an LPGA tour card after now qualifying for the Epson Tour.

Tennis star Andy Murray’s mother, Judy Murray, said Davidson’s attitude was completely unfair to other biological women.

In August 2022, the mother of Wimbledon champion tennis star Andy Murray, Judy Murray, said that Davidson’s attitude was completely unfair to other biological women.

“It’s not fair at all. Protect women’s sport. Listen to the facts, scientists and doctors. This is wrong,» she wrote on Twitter.

Murray was one of many social media users commenting on the fact that Davidson could get her LPGA tour card.

Davidson dismissed criticism of her participation in women’s sports as «transphobia».

Although top golfers can usually hit the ball further than their female counterparts, Davidson says most of the criticism of her competing in the women’s circuit is more transphobic than genuine dialogue about the sport.

Davidson said she now hits the ball 15 mph slower after her transition.

«I saw that it’s not about protecting women’s sports or that I have an advantage, but that you don’t like trans people,» Davidson said during an interview on the Like It Is podcast.

«It is very sad that this is the case. I’ve learned that in the last few months.’

«I’m determined to punch a hole in one on camera one day!» Hailey Davidson, 29, wrote on Instagram as she posted a video of herself working out on the links

Davidson is seen in 2015, before the transition

Davidson is seen recovering in the hospital after her transition to female

The NXXT, Epson Tour and LPGA all have strict policies that allow trans women to compete alongside those who were born female.

“The LPGA has a comprehensive gender policy that allows transgender athletes, including those who have transitioned from male to female, to participate in its events. The policy requires transgender athletes to submit a statement of their gender identity, proof of sex reassignment surgery, and proof of at least one year of hormone therapy to maintain testosterone levels within a specified range.

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«It also includes provisions for confidentiality and recognition of gender verification decisions by other golf tours or sports authorities,» NXXT Tour director Bennett Noe said in a statement.

«This alignment across NXXT, the LPGA, the Epson Tour and the USGA ensures a consistent approach to transgender athletes with an emphasis on fair competition and integrity in the sport.»

Davidson last competed as a male golfer in 2015, after which she began hormone therapy. She competes on the East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour

Davidson last competed as a male golfer in 2015, after which she began hormone therapy and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2021.

«I know I have what it takes to be among the professional golfers on the LPGA/PGA/Champions Tour in recent years and stay very competitive with them,» Davidson said in 2021 as he sought to raise funds for a qualifying school.

“While I know I have the talent and mental game to make a career out of playing, the upfront costs of tournaments and training expenses are what really hold me back.

Although Davidson did not qualify that year, she remained competitive in other tournaments, finishing one match behind 2010 US Women’s Open winner Paula Creamer by just three shots.

Should Davidson finally make it to the LPGA, she would be the second transgender woman to advance to the first stage of the LPGA Q-School.

In 2013, Bobbi Lancaster, a 63-year-old doctor from Arizona, earned Symetra Tour status in 2013 but decided to spend time traveling the country as a human rights advocate, according to Golf Week.

Davidson said she now hits the ball 15 mph slower after making the switch, adding that she doesn’t have much of an advantage against other female golfers.

Davidson argues that much of the criticism about her racing in the women’s circuit is more transphobic than genuine dialogue about the sport.

There was a backlash against Davidson’s success on social media.

‘If it’s not one ‘breakthrough’, it’s another. This time Hailey Davidson. Time indeed for the @LPGA to re-look at their ‘rules’ and re-set them to those of the other major sporting federations. Women deserve fair conditions. Male bodies remain male bodies with built-in advantages,” wrote Dorothy van Koolwijk.

«This idea that trans women have advantages, it has to be unfair, it’s just not true,» Joanna Harper said. @golfweek @GolfweekNichols please talk to experts on this issue who are NOT trans activists,” wrote Jennifer Gingrich, a self-described radical feminist.

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‘Why have a separate category in #golf called ‘ladies’ when anyone can identify with it? Instantly becomes #PGA fake extension for «smaller men». How could the @LPGA #LPGA undermine itself in this most ridiculous way? Throw away the League’s legitimacy?” wrote Linda Blade.

“I’m an expert on muscles. It is absolutely unfair. When you add to that stronger tendons, ligaments, bones. Longer limbs, wider shoulders, narrow hips. All real benefits,” another Twitter user argued.

“There was a time in global sports where some born female athletes were harassed to prove their femininity (sic) with hormone tests and all that nonsense. Some of them were stripped of their medals. Today they openly let born men compete and wrest victory from women. Crazy,” Mohammed Riyaz added.

A number of social media users were unhappy that Davidson might get her PGA tour card

Davidson’s success comes amid a culture war in America over regulations allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports.

Although professional organizations such as the LPGA and PGA established their own rules and regulations many years ago, recently debates have erupted across the country regarding high school and college athletes.

The issue came into focus in 2022 with UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, who began competing in collegiate women’s swimming a year and a half after transitioning.

Thomas went on to break several women’s records, much to the dismay of several of her teammates, and the NCAA and US Swimming authorities were criticized for allowing Thomas to compete.

Professional competitive swimming association FINA has since effectively banned trans women from competing in the sport, saying they had to begin transitioning before puberty, which is illegal or nearly impossible in most of the United States.

The issue came into focus in 2022 with UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, pictured, competing in women’s collegiate swimming 18 months after breaking the record.

18 states have now banned transgender students from competing in girls’ sports.

One notable example is Ohio, which passed a law requiring students accused of being transgender to provide a medical note detailing their sexual anatomy, testosterone levels and genetic makeup.

In New Jersey, Republican lawmakers have proposed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which would require female student-athletes to verify the nature of their genitalia in order to compete.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Michael Testa, likened the genitalia checks to random drug tests college athletes are subjected to and said he didn’t foresee any problems with angry parents accusing girls of being transgender.

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