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Women's mini-tour in Florida changes to female-at-birth policy

MIAMI (AP) — The NXXT Golf mini tour for women announced Friday it has updated its eligibility policy to require all players to be a biological female at birth.

The decision follows Hailey Davidson, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2021, winning once and finishing runner-up three times on the NXXT Golf tour this season.

NXXT Golf is awarding its leading five players two exemptions into the Epson Tour, though it still has not met required field sizes. The top 10 on the Epson Tour get LPGA cards.

The mini tour's updated policy, which went into effect Thursday, was to maintain the integrity of women's professional golf and ensure fair competition.

“As we navigate through the evolving landscape of sports, it is crucial to uphold the competitive integrity that is the cornerstone of women’s sports," CEO Stu McKinnon said. "Our revised policy is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to celebrating and protecting the achievements and opportunities of female athletes.

"Protected categories are a fundamental aspect of sports at all levels, and it is essential for our Tour to uphold these categories for biological females, ensuring a level playing field.”

The LPGA Tour allows players who have undergone gender reassignment after puberty.

Davidson had a scholarship to play on the men's team at Wilmington University in Delaware before transferring to the men's team at Christopher Newport in Virginia.

According to Golfweek, she began hormone treatments in 2015 and some five years later had gender reassignment surgery.

NXXT Golf is the second mini tour to update its policy. The Cactus Tour is Arizona announced last month it was reinstating its female-at-birth requirement for eligibility.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf