Ladies golf opens play to transsexuals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ladies golf opens play to transsexuals

10/02/2005 05:20:23 AM Comments (0)

Transsexual golfers will be allowed to play in this year's women's British Open.

The policy change was announced by the Ladies Golf Union, which governs amateur golf in Britain and also runs the women's British Open. The tournament is open to amateurs and professionals.

The LGU move follows a similar policy shift last year by the Ladies European Tour, the governing body of professional women's golf in Europe.

The LGU change comes 11 months after Danish-born Mianne Bagger became the first male-born golfer to play in a professional women's tournament. Bagger had a sex-change operation in 1995.

Bagger is playing this season on the Ladies European Tour and is expected to enter the women's British Open.

The LPGA - the Florida-based professional women's tour in North America - prohibits transsexuals from playing and allows only women who are female at birth.

The LGU change was approved last month. The first tournament under the new rules will be the Ladies British Amateur from June 7-11 at the Littlestone Golf Club in southern England.

The British Open is held from July 28-31 at Royal Birkdale, located near Liverpool in northwest England.

"We have a legal situation in Europe and the UK that is different to America, so in a sense we had no option but to address the situation," said Andy Salmon, chief executive of the LGU.

"In America, they reserve the right not to address it at the moment.

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