Breanna Gill has caused a stir in the golf world after winning her first professional event in Bonville Golf Resort in New South Wales. The 32-year-old Australian birdied the final hole in a playoff to take home first place. Her win has sparked a debate about transgender players in the sport, as Gill is a transgender golfer.
The win saw Gill leap from outside the world’s 500 to 393rd, which she described as an honor. Her peers ran onto the green to celebrate Gill, who said she was proud to have achieved her goal of winning a professional tournament.
The Women’s PGA tour of Australia shared a post on Twitter of Gill with the trophy, which ended up having over seven million views. Despite no comments on the post, it also generated almost 3,000 quote tweets, causing even more conversation about the issue.
While Gill is not the first transgender golfer to have success in the professional game, her win has further highlighted the debate. The Scottish player Hailey Davidson won a US mini tour in 2021 and talked about the opposition of transgender women playing in female sports. She said most of it was based on societal stereotypes and that she had lost 30 yards of distance due to years of taking hormones. Davidson also made it through stage one of the LPGA Q-school last year.
The topic of transgender athletes has been widely discussed recently as organizations debate on ways to keep sports fair for all. These discussions have been particularly prevalent in the person of judge-based sports, where physical abilities can be a huge factor.
The Australian Women’s Classic and the Women’s PGA Tour of Australasia strives to remain open and inclusive to players of all backgrounds. They will continue to review their policies in certain cases, such as with transgender players, to ensure sport remains fair and accessible to all.