GOLF

A golfer is set to become the first transgender woman to win the coveted Ladies PGA Tour Card

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A golfer is set to become the first transgender woman to earn a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour card after beating much of her competition in the first two qualifying rounds.

Hailey Davidson, 29, finished strong in the first two rounds of the LPGA Stage 1 and Epson Tour Qualifying School in Palm Springs this week.

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Davidson, a Scotland native who lives in Florida, shot a 70 in the first round at Shadow Ridge Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif., on Thursday and hit a 76 in the second round on Friday, Fox News reported.

Under LPGA rules, any player who shoots under 88 after the three rounds will earn Epson Tour 2023 status, the official qualifying round for the LPGA.

Hailey Davidson, 29, is set to become the first transgender woman to earn an LPGA tour card after successful performances on the first two days of Stage I qualifying

Davidson, pictured practicing before the start of the tournament, shot a 70 in the first round at Shadow Ridge Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif. on Thursday and hit a 76 in the second round on Friday.  The third round will take place over the weekend

Davidson, pictured practicing before the start of the tournament, shot a 70 in the first round at Shadow Ridge Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif. on Thursday and hit a 76 in the second round on Friday. The third round will take place over the weekend

Under LPGA rules, any player who shoots under 88 after the three rounds will earn Epson Tour 2023 status, the official qualifying tour for the LPGA, a goal Davidson is working towards after completing his transition in 2021.

Under LPGA rules, any player who shoots under 88 after the three rounds will earn Epson Tour 2023 status, the official qualifying tour for the LPGA, a goal Davidson is working towards after completing his transition in 2021.

Competing against 310 other women, Davidson is tied for 59th and appears to be in good shape to pass Stage One and advance to Stage II in October against the top 100 players.

The LPGA Tour scrapped its “female at birth” requirement in 2010.

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 rub shoulders with professional golfers on the LPGA/PGA/Champions Tour over the past few years and stay very competitive with all of them,” Davidson said in 2021 while trying to collect cash. funds for a qualifying school.

“While I know I have the talent and the mental game to pursue a career in the game, the upfront cost of tournaments and training fees is what is really holding me back.”

Although she failed to qualify that year, Davidson remained competitive in other tournaments, finishing a match just three strokes behind 2010 US Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer.

The majority of Davidson’s time has been spent competing on the East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour, winning three of the final five matches heading into the summer qualifier.

Although top male golfers can typically hit the ball farther than their female counterparts, Davidson says the majority of criticism of her competing on the women’s tour is transphobic rather than genuine dialogue about the sport.

Davidson said after transitioning, she now hits the ball 15 mph slower.

“I saw it wasn’t about protecting women’s sport or having an advantage for me, it’s just that you don’t like trans people,” Davidson said of his detractors. while speaking on the Like It Is podcast.

“It is very sad that it has come down to this. Over the past two months, that’s what I’ve learned.

Davidson last competed as a men's golfer in 2015, after which she began hormone therapy.  She participated in the East Coast Women's Pro Golf Tour

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

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

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

Davidson says the majority of criticism about her competing on the women's tour is transphobic rather than real dialogue about the sport

Davidson says the majority of criticism about her competing on the women’s tour is transphobic rather than real dialogue about the sport

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

Although professional bodies like the LPGA and PGA have set their own rules and regulations, debates have erupted across the country about athletes competing in high school and college.

The question has taken center stage this year with UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, who began competing in women’s college swimming a year and a half after transitioning.

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

The professional competitive swimming association FINA has since banned trans women from participating in the sport, saying they must have started their transition before the onset of puberty, which is illegal or nearly impossible to do in most the United States.

By summer, 18 states had banned transgender female students from participating in women’s sports.

A notable example is Ohio, which passed a bill requiring college students accused of being transgender to provide a doctor’s note detailing their sexual anatomy, testosterone levels, and genetic makeup.

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

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Michael Testa, compared genital checks to the random drug tests college athletes undergo and said he doesn’t foresee any problems with angry parents accusing the girls of to be transgender.

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