The PGA pro from Milton Keynes took part in regional qualifying at Hollinwell over the weekend
History was made at this year’s regional qualifying for the 149th Open Championship at Royal St George’s as Alison Perkins became the first transgender player to take part in the event.
Although Alison didn’t qualify, the PGA coach was able to draw on the positives of taking another “small step forward” in a journey that she should be immensely proud of.
“A wee bit of history today, as I believe I am the first transfemale to compete in @TheOpen qualifiers at #hollinwell,” Perkins wrote in the first of a series of tweets.
“18 months of hard work to get to the tee, play 18, represent the true me, 15 years since last played. Been a battle to get here, one more small step forward.”
Perkins eventually signed for a nine-over 81 but, much like in life, she showed no shortage of determination to battle back from a tough start.
Having played the first seven holes in eight-over, it would have been easy to let the score slip away but eight pars, one birdie and two bogies in her final 11 ensured she left with some momentum and something to build on for the future.
And Perkins also paid tribute to the course at Hollinwell, as well as her playing partners, who made her feel at ease in an environment she was admittedly “nervous” about competing in beforehand.
“Hollinwell golf course is lovely, a great test in good condition,” Perkins wrote in another tweet. “At 7,000 yards and with the rough up and narrow fairways is a challenge.
“Great tee shot off the 1st, a bumpy front-nine but played OK from 8th. Got some self-respect for me as a person and golfer. Pretty in places, too.
“My playing partners were great, made me feel more at ease and totally accepting as I was so nervous and anxious beforehand.
“Managed my goal of distance, as hit a 285 drive off the 1st down the middle.”
Lets hope that, as well as taking plenty of encouragement herself, Alison’s display has also inspired others out there who may be fighting the same kind of battles she has in the past.
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