Transgender Golfer Hailey Davidson Fails To Qualify For US Women's Open - But Could Still Get In As First Alternate

Transgender golfer Hailey Davidson narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2024 US Women's Open - but could still get in as the first alternate.

Davidson, who has been a controversial figure in women's golf, shot 70-73 at the 36-hole qualifying event at Bradenton Country Club in Florida to miss out on forcing a playoff by just one shot.

The two players up for grabs from the field of 58 went to amateurs Amelie Zalsman from Florida and Thailand's Pimpisa Sisutham.

But while they are guaranteed a spot in the US Women's Open at Lancaster Country Club at the end of May, Davidson faces an anxious wait and needs just one player to drop out to get in.

Born in Scotland but now living in Florida, Davidson played for the men's golf team at Wilmington University on a scholarship before moving to Christopher Newport University.

After undergoing gender reassignment surgery in January 2021, Davidson was allowed to compete in women's golf events under the USGA and LPGA's gender policies.

Davidson tried but failed to qualify for the LPGA in 2021 and 2022 before competing in the NXXT Tour - winning three times before the mini tour changed its rules so that only biologically born females could compete, meaning Davidson was banned.

NXXT said the rule change was to maintain "the integrity of women’s professional golf and ensuring fair competition.”

“As we navigate through the evolving landscape of sports, it is crucial to uphold the competitive integrity that is the cornerstone of women’s sports,” said NXXT Golf CEO Stuart McKinnon in a statement.

transgender golfer hailey davidson fails to qualify for us women's open - but could still get in as first alternate

((Image credit: Getty Images))

However, Davidson can still compete in LPGA and USGA events as the criteria still in place with both organisations allows for players who have had gender reassignment surgery to compete among the women.

"For the purposes of registration on entry applications for USGA Championships, players are required to register as either male or female in accordance with their biological assigned-at-birth gender," says the USGA policy.

"For any player wishing to compete as a gender that is different than their biological assigned-at-birth gender or for any player who has transitioned or is currently transitioning to a gender that is different than their assigned-at-birth gender, the player will need to follow the processes outlined below in this Policy and comply with all eligibility requirements herein.

"The player has declared that her gender identity is female. Such declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four (4) years.

"The player must have undergone gender reassignment surgery (i.e., a gonadectomy) prior to the entry deadline for that specific Championship.

"The player must have undergone hormonal therapy and maintained testosterone levels appropriate for the assigned sex in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimize gender-related advantages in sport competitions, as determined by the USGA in consultation with its medical consultant(s)."

The 2024 US Women's Open is set to begin on May 30, and if Davidson manages to get a place then the issue is sure to be highlighted once again.

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