(Reuters) – The organizers of the British Open and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) announced a transgender player who died this week during a tournament at the Royal St.
Alison Perkins, a transgender woman who was participating in regional qualifiers for the tournament, was in the spectator village as a PGA pro training in the swing zone before deciding to leave early after abuse and threats.
The tournament organizer, Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A), offered assistance to Perkins.
“Alison is a valued member of the PGA’s Swingzone team and we were deeply concerned when we heard about the incident earlier this week,” the R&A said in a statement released across the UK.
“We will be contacting Alison to offer our support and to make it clear that she is very welcome to The Open in the future.
“We firmly believe that golf should be open to everyone and we regret any kind of discriminatory behavior.”
Perkins told The Telegraph that her decision to leave The Open early was the right one because she “needed to be safe, maintain my self-respect, and cope with the injuries and pain this causes my own”.
“Many times in my life I have struggled to continue my journey to become a better myself, a coach, and a professional golfer … It’s not worth the fight,” said Perkins.
Perkins also received PGA support following the incident.
“We enjoy a diverse membership of more than 8,000 PGA experts, all of whom should be able to work without fear of discrimination or prejudice,” Sky Sports quoted the PGA in a statement.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Edmund Klamann)