Male Claims Women’s Golf Title as Battle over Women’s Sports Grows
Last week, a male professional golfer who identifies as female was allowed to compete in a women’s tournament and won the event. Hailey Davidson, a 30-year-old Scottish golfer who was born James Scott Davidson, came in first place at the NXXT Women’s Classic in Orlando, Fla. The episode highlight’s women’s golf as the latest sport to allow biological males to compete, claim titles, and win prize money in women’s events, despite growing public outrage.
The win put Davidson in first place position to qualify for the Epson Tour, the developmental tour of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). Only the top 10 players on the Epson Tour are able to graduate to the LPGA Tour. In 2010, the LPGA Tour reportedly removed its “female at birth” requirement, opening the door for biological males to compete in its women’s tournaments.
Davidson, who has won over $10,000 in prize money over the last season, started hormone therapy treatments in 2015 and underwent gender transition surgery six years later. In the last five events in which he has played, Davidson has finished in the top 10 in each, including two second-place finishes. He currently leads the NXXT Tour with 1,320 points, 150 points ahead of the second-place woman player.
Over the last six years, biological males who identify as transgender women have claimed dozens of women’s collegiate and professional sports titles, with the rate increasing exponentially over the last two years.
Tennis legend and women’s sports advocate Martina Navratilova expressed concern after Davidson’s win, commenting, “This really needs to end sooner rather than later. Male bodies, however they might identify, do not belong in women’s sports!”
While voters continue to voice their concern about protecting women’s sports going into the 2024 elections, thanks in large part to the efforts of public figures such as former NCAA All-American swimmer Riley Gaines, biological males continue to be allowed to compete against women, with little concern for the issue being displayed by those who could end the practice overnight.
Macy Petty, a NCAA Division II volleyball player, joined “Washington Watch” last week to discuss the reluctance that NCAA President Charlie Baker and other sports governing body heads have shown in addressing the issue.
“It’s so simple,” she emphasized. “And it even says it in the Bible, ‘Male and female he created them.’ And our sports have reflected it as long as we’ve had sports. In volleyball, men’s nets are over seven inches higher. It’s not complicated. Everyone knows it. Men’s and women’s sports have to be separated, and if they’re not separated based on sex, then it really doesn’t even matter.”
Petty went on to express alarm at the direction that women’s sports could be headed in if the heads of sports governing bodies do not set clear boundaries that bar biological males from competing against women.
“I’ve been following this for years, and so I’ve continued to see it snowball,” she noted. “We [will] continue to see it snowball until women’s sports doesn’t exist anymore. We [may] have to fight for Title IX all over again. And that’s something I really hope we don’t have to go to. But either way, I am hoping that we win this issue in the long run because it’s totally indefensible and it doesn’t work.”
**Update: Backlash over Davidson’s win intensified on Monday, leading to the NXXT Tour announcing that they will require Davidson to undergo additional testosterone testing and will also “initiat[e] a poll among our tour players to gather their opinions on our gender policy.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.