Breanna Gill’s win at the Australian Women’s Classic in New South Wales is causing a debate over transgender athletes in golf.
Gill is an Australian pro golfer playing on the Women’s PGA Tour of Australasia. She needed a birdie at Hole 18 to force a playoff in the Australian Women’s Classic, and she got just that.
Gill eventually won the playoff to hoist the trophy for the first time in her professional career.
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But backlash came on social media when the Women’s PGA Tour of Australasia posted a now-viral tweet of Gill holding the trophy. Comments ended up getting shut off after some of the 7 million viewers didn’t like the fact that Gill was playing with women.
Gill, 32, moved to 393rd in the world with the win after not being in the top 500.
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“I always thought in my head if I ever got the opportunity to actually win a golf tournament and the girls happen to come running out on the green, I was going to stand there and take it. I wasn’t going to run away,” Gill said per Golf Monthly.
Gill isn’t the first transgender professional golfer, as Hailey Davidson, a Scottish pro, won in a mini tour in the United States in 2021.
She ended up explaining to the Daily Record that she doesn’t feel like an advantage comes her way when she steps on the golf course.
“Opposition to transgender women playing in female sport irritates me due to most being based on societal stereotypes and not actual facts and real athlete experiences.”
“During the tournament that I won on May 13, I wasn’t the longest hitter in the group, and it was the same with the last tournament I played in, where I was being outdriven by a 3 wood on a few occasions.”
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“I hit the ball 270 yards, and the longest LPGA player hits 291. I lost 30 yards of distance from all of the years of hormones and the lack of testosterone my body no longer creates. So, basically, what advantage do I have again?”
Transgender athletes in sports has been an intense debate in recent years, with situations like that of NCAA swim champion Lia Thomas and, most recently, West Virginia trying to ban a transgender middle school transgender girl from running track and cross-country on the girls’ team.
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Sports will likely continue seeing situations like that of Gill's moving forward.