An Australian pro has opened up the transgender debate in golf after winning on the Women's PGA Tour of Australasia.
Breanna Gill won the Australian Women’s Classic at Bonville Golf Resort in New South Wales, where she birdied the final hole to get into a playoff that she ultimately won.
After holing a three-footer for her first professional victory, she was sprayed with champagne as her peers ran onto the green to celebrate with her.
Gill jumped up from outside the world's top 500 to 393th with what was her first title since turning professional in 2015. The 32-year-old Australian's previous best finish was a runner-up at the 2021 The Players Series Sydney.
“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.
“If you get yourself in that position, you just take it. It was so special.”
Gill's victory opened up the transgender debate in golf, with a viral tweet from the Women's PGA Tour of Australasia showing Gill with the trophy being viewed over seven million times before being deleted. The comments had been turned off but that didn't stop almost 3,000 quote tweets.
Showing nerves of steel, Breanna Gill triumphed in a playoff for her first professional win at the #AusWomensClassic! 👏 📷 @GolfNSW | #feelNSW | #NewSouthWales pic.twitter.com/j9ozV1jD5sApril 2, 2023
This isn't the first time a transgender golfer has had success in professional golf, with Scottish player Hailey Davidson winning on a US mini tour in 2021. On her Instagram page she describes herself as the "World’s 1st openly transgender person to win a professional golf tournament."
Per the Daily Record, Davidson said: “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 three wood on a few occasions.
“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?”
Davidson also made it through Stage 1 of the LPGA Q-school last year.
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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