Caitlyn Jenner is offering support to a trans golfer named Hailey Davidson, who’s hoping to make the Ladies Professional Golf Association [LPGA] Tour.
Last year, Davidson, 29, underwent gender reassignment surgery and, this summer, she’s been attempting to receive her LPGA Tour card. So far, the athlete has been unsuccessful and a lot of backlash has been generated around the situation. Critics are calling the case unfair to women in sport, as they did earlier this year in the case of Lia Thomas, a professional swimmer.
On Wednesday, Jenner, who was extremely critical of Thomas’s quest to compete in the women’s pool, joined Fox News, backing Davidson’s pursuit to be the first transgender woman on the tour. She stated that Davidson’s circumstances are different than those of Thomas.
“Every sport is different,” Jenner said. “Golf is a totally different game [than swimming]. It is a game of touch and feel.”
“It is about your ability around the green,” she continued, arguing that bodily strength and the ability to hit a ball farther makes little difference in golf.
“I don’t think she’s in a position where she’s going to be dominating on the LPGA Tour,” the retired Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete added.
Over a decade ago, the LPGA Tour altered its rules, allowing golfers who weren’t born female to compete. Jenner backed the sports association’s rules, noting that they should remain because pro female golfers continue to regularly beat her and other men on the course.
“To be honest with you, those girls are so good,” Jenner said. “The top girls on tour can beat probably 99.9 per cent of the men out there. They’re that good.”
Davidson reportedly last competed in a 2015 tournament as a male. Although she has yet to earn her tour card, she said she’s not giving up the fight any time soon, despite what critics say.
“All the people who commented about me having an advantage over biologically born women have no idea how great these women are at their craft or what it takes to be an elite golfer,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
“In order to compete against these amazing female athletes, I will need to continue to work hard on my game, which I fully intend to do.”