This year has seen monumental progress in the world of women's golf, but a story we heard in the news this week has made us realise that there's still a long way to go. On the other side of the pond, an 8th grader from Massachusetts won the Massachusetts D3 Central Boys Golf Tournament but was denied the trophy because of her gender.
As part of her school’s team, Emily Nash was signed up for a boy’s golf tournament and while competing in it, Nash played from the same tees as the boys and concluded the tournament with an impressive score of 75.
Sadly, Nash’s efforts went to waste. Whilst her round was counted towards her team score, her individual performance wasn't even considered, despite leading the field.
As PGA.com reports, “That meant that the boy who finished second, Nico Ciolino, would be awarded the trophy.”
Assistant Executive Director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, Richard Pearson commented, “we have girls play in the spring and boys play in the fall.”
“There are a lot of instances where on the girls' side, there may not be enough players to field a team in the spring. In that case, the girls can compete individually. To afford them the chance to be a part of a team, we also allow them to play with the boys' teams in the fall, where their score can only count toward the team total.”
The MIAA adapted their rules to allow boys and girls to compete in teams together but they have not made any adjustments to a rule where either gender can win.
Despite the archaic mindset of the tournament officials, the boys competing in the tournament could clearly see the unfairness of the situation. The athlete who won first place offered his trophy to Nash but she declined. She said, “he came over and said he didn’t win the tournament, that I did. It was really nice of him and respectful.”
If teenage boys get it, why on earth are things like this still happening in women's golf?