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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 February, 2004, 02:49 GMT
Transsexual makes golf history
A golfer born in Adelaide as a man will create history by playing in the women's Australian Open next month.

Mianne Bagger had sex-change surgery in 1995 after a lifetime of feeling "something wasn't quite right".

"It is a world first," the 37-year-old told the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper. "There has never been a transsexual in a women's tournament before."

"It's a dream for me, I've been playing golf since I was eight but I turned professional only in August last year."

The women's Australian Open will be held at Concord in Sydney from 4-7 March.

You certainly don't go through surgery lightly
Mianne Bagger
Bagger said she had made new friendships with fellow golfers, but added: "There are some women who find me hard to accept.

"I have never been confronted by anyone and most don't consider it to be an issue. To most people I am just another one of the girls out there playing.

"I have always known there was something different about me since I was young, we are born this way. You certainly don't go through surgery lightly."

A Women's Golf Australia spokeswoman said the WGA had "no problems" with Bagger playing.

"Mianne has been playing for years in our amateur tournaments where we have no rules against trans-gender players," the spokesperson said.

"There is no reason why she should not continue her golfing career in the professional tournament."

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