According to the Daily Mail, Hailey Davidson, 29, would be the first 'transgender woman' to win the title after beating much of the competition in the first two qualifying rounds of the LPGA and Epson Tour Qualifying School in Palm Springs this week.
Davidson shot a 70 in the first round at the Shadow Ridge Golf Club in Palm Desert California, on Thursday, and hit a 76 during the second round on Friday, Fox News reported. LPGA rules states that any player who shoots under 88 after all three rounds will earn a 2023 Epson Tour Status, the official qualifying tour for the LPGA.
Competing against 310 women, Davidson is tied at 59th place and appears to be in a good position to pass the first stage and move onto Stage II in October against the top 100 players.
Davidson last competed as a male golfer in 2015. The golfer began hormone therapy treatments and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2021 and the LPGA Tour removed the "female at birth" requirement in 2010.
"I know I have what it takes from being around professional golfers on the LPGA/PGA/Champions Tour over the recent years and staying very competitive with them all," Davidson said in 2021 while trying to fundraise for qualifying school.
"While I know that I have the talent and mental game to make a career out of playing, the initial cost of tournaments and practice expenses is what truly holds me back."
Davidson failed to make qualifiers that year but did end one match just three shots behind 2010 U.S. Women's Open champ Paula Creamer.
The top male golfers can typically drive the ball further than their female counterparts, but Davidson claims criticism about competing in the women's circuit is transphobic.
"I've seen that it's not about protecting women's sports or me having an advantage, it's just that you don't like trans people," Davidson said of critics on the Like It Is podcast.
"It's very sad that that's what it comes down to. In the last couple of months, that's what I've come to learn."
Davidson claims that, after the transition, the golfer now drives the ball 15 mph slower than before.
Davidson competing in women's sports takes place as debates have erupted across America over opposite sex athletes competing in sport, especially at the high school and college levels.
Earlier this year, UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas began competing in women's collegiate swimming just a year and a half after transitioning and then broke several women's records.
Professional competitive swimming association FINA has since effectively banned men who identify as transgender from competing in the sport, by saying they must transition before puberty which is largely illegal across the US. By the summer, 18 states had outlawed biological males who identify as transgender from competing in girls' sports.
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