The Arizona-based Cactus Tour announced on National Girls and Women in Sports Day that its gender policy has changed, effective immediately. The women’s mini tour has reinstated a female-at-birth requirement.
The Cactus Tour kicks off its 2024 season Feb. 13 at Sun City Country Club. A number of LPGA players have used the mini tour over the years to kick off rust and develop their games as young pros. Past winners include three-time major winner Anna Nordqivst, 2023 U.S. Women’s Open champ Allisen Corpuz, Grace Kim, Mina Harigae and Cheyenne Woods.
Sophia Popov famously won the 2020 AIG Women’s British Open the same year she won three times on the Cactus Tour, when the mini tour carried on during the Covid-19 pandemic while other tours shut down.
Bobbi Lancaster, a retired physician who became the first transgender player to compete in LPGA Q-School, once spent time competing on the Cactus Tour. Lancaster recently told Golfweek that her views on allowing trans women to compete in elite women’s sports have changed.
Now the former honors biology student can’t ignore what she believes the science proves: Transgender women who experienced male puberty have legacy advantages that no amount of hormones or surgeries can erase.
“I don’t think it’s fair to have transgender women like me competing against cisgender women in women’s sports,” she said. “Period, end of story.”
🚨Breaking News 🚨
In support of National Girls and Women in Sports Day and recent issues surrounding women’s golf, The Cactus Tour LLC will be reinstating the “Must be female at birth” requirement to be eligible to participate in future Cactus Tour events.
— The Cactus Tour (@THECACTUSTOUR) February 8, 2024
Lancaster’s belief that integrity must trump inclusivity comes at a time when another transgender athlete, Hailey Davidson, drew national attention for her recent victory on a Florida mini-tour.
While it wasn’t Davidson’s first professional victory, the fact that the NXXT Tour has a new partnership this season with the Epson Tour prompted backlash as many believed Davidson was on the doorstep of the LPGA.
In the wake of the victory, NXXT CEO Stuart McKinnon came out with a statement addressing Davidson’s participation. The tour initiated an anonymous poll among its players to gather their opinions on the NXXT’s gender policy. The tour also requested that Davidson undergo additional testosterone testing to ensure compliance.
In 2010, the…