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hailey davidson

Transgender golfer tastes victory at women’s tour event

Hailey Davidson became the first ever male-born golfer to win a women’s professional event three years ago, and she has tasted even more success in 2024…

 

Transgender golfer Hailey Davidson has vowed to “never allow hate to win” after securing victory on the women’s NXXT golf tour.

Davidson won the NXXT Women’s Classic at Mission Inn Resort and Club in Florida on January 17, having come second at the Crane Lakes Women’s Classic a week before.

She first made headlines three years ago when becoming the first male-born golfer to win a professional women’s event in America.

The 30-year-old posted on Instagram after her recent victory to address the comments some golf fans aim at her, questioning whether someone born male should be allowed to compete against women.

“It’s always interesting how no one gets angry until there is any form of success,” she wrote.

“While this win was amazing, unlike every article is saying, I am so incredibly far from the LPGA Tour with a lot of work to be done to possibly earn my way there one day.

“I will never allow hate to win, especially when based in some misinformation.”

Davidson was also the second transgender player to compete at LPGA Q-School in 2021, but she didn’t advance to the big stage.

It was that same year when she made history as the first male-born player to win a women’s event in the USA on the National Women’s Golf Association tour (NWGA), beating Paula Creamer and Perrine Delacour in the process.

During her collegiate career, Davidson earned a scholarship to play for the men’s team at Wilmington University before playing in the men’s team at Christopher Newport in Virginia.

She began hormone treatment in September 2015, the last year she competed as a male golfer. In January 2021, she underwent gender reassignment surgery.

The NXXT tour, which used to be called the East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour, has a partnership with the Epson Tour, a feeder to the LPGA Tour.

The top five spots on the NXXT points list are meant to earn two exemptions on the Epson Tour, however, the NXXT tour must host 10 events with an average of 40 players to provide these exemptions. Davidson beat only 24 players last week.

‘It shouldn’t just be a free-for-all’

Since Davidson’s victory, the NXXT tour has launched a survey to its members, asking questions on gender policy.

The tour states its guidelines are aligned with the LPGA and the USGA and they say that players must have declared they are female, undergone gender reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy, and maintained testosterone levels appropriate for the assigned sex.

“We understand that this topic evokes strong feelings and diverse viewpoints. We encourage constructive dialogue and respect for all athletes who strive to compete at the highest levels of their sport,” the statement said.

“We appreciate the passion and commitment of our golfing community and remain dedicated to providing a platform that upholds the integrity of women’s professional golf.

“We want to assure the public and all stakeholders that we are dedicated to transparency and thoroughness in addressing this matter.”

Davidson has since spoken to Sky News about transgender athletes competing in professional golf.

She is set to undergo further testosterone testing to make sure she is compliant with current guidelines.

“I recognise that I did have an unfair advantage a few years ago. I’ve been transitioning for nine years. I’ve been on hormones for almost nine years, I had surgery coming up almost on three years. I’ve lost just over 50 miles an hour swing speed,” she said.

“Trans athletes shouldn’t be banned, but at the same time, there needs to be regulations in place because it shouldn’t just be a free-for-all.”

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