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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 15:37 GMT
Bagger happy to be trailblazer
Mianne Bagger
Name: Mianne Bagger
Age: 37
Born: Adelaide, Australia
Lives: Denmark
Honours: Three-times South Australia amateur champion
Pro tournaments: Women's Australian Open, 2004

Mianne Bagger is more than prepared for her spell in the spotlight after becoming the first transsexual to earn a place on the women's European Tour.

The 37-year-old may have fulfilled her sporting ambition, but she is willing to accept that not everyone will celebrate her historic success.

However, the three-time South Australia amateur champion believes most players will support her presence on next year's Tour and that she will not have to contend with open opposition on the greens.

"Discrimination to my face? No, I don't think that will happen," she told BBC Radio Five Live.

"I would imagine if there are some girls who don't agree with me playing that they will just steer clear.

"If we meet they will be polite and say 'hello', then we'll go our separate ways."

Bagger, who moved to Australia from Denmark in 1979 and underwent a sex change operation in 1995, has also repeated her belief that she does not hold an unfair physical edge.

She says hormone therapy and surgery means she produces less testosterone than the average man.

I can't hit the ball further and I'm among the shortest hitters out there
Mianne Bagger
"I can't hit the ball further and I'm among the shortest hitters out there," she said.

"I play alongside plenty of girls that hit it quite a way past me."

And she feels any criticism of her progress is fired by ignorance about transsexualism.

"There is a lot of misunderstanding," Bagger added.

"It is an issue that a lot of people are not familiar with. People don't get to meet a women like me very often and some never do."

Bagger admits she feared her sex change would put an end to her professional golfing hopes and that securing a Tour spot is a fantasy realised.

"I really thought for many years that I would probably not be able to continue playing golf competitively," she continued. "I certainly never thought I would get on the Tour.

"So all this is like a childhood dream come true.

"But the world is an evolving place and attitudes and society have to evolve with it."

Bagger, who also made history when she became the first transsexual to compete at the women's Australia Open in March, now plans to head down under to play in a few Pro-Am events ahead of the new European season.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Mianne Bagger



SEE ALSO
Bagger denies advantage
02 Mar 04 |  Golf


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