Who is Natalie Ryan? All you need to know about Transgender disc golfer who won women's tournament in Virginia after boot from California event

Natalie Ryan won the Lake Marshall Open (Image via twitter.com/Neptunediscs)
Natalie Ryan won the Lake Marshall Open (Image via twitter.com/Neptunediscs)

Natalie Ryan, a transgender disc golfer, won the women's tournament in Virginia after getting banned from a Disc Golf Pro Tour event in California earlier this month.

Ryan, who was born male, bagged a paycheck of $356 after beating five other women at the Lake Marshall Open in Montross, Virginia as per Disc Golf Scene. After three rounds, she finished with a score of 197, followed by Debbie Yoo and Kaitlyn Clay, who scored 221.

This win came after Ryan went through a lot of things over a few months. Last week, she was booted from the Disc Golf Pro Tour's OTB Open in California after the court ordered a stay on restraining order to compete in pro events.

Natalie has been a member of PDGA since 2018. Having played in 67 events, she won 25. As of today, her US Tour ranking was No. 13. Her first professional win came in June 2019 at Queens of the Creek II.

Ryan has won four tournaments so far this year: Sun King's Throw Down the Mountain XI (Weekend 4), Luna Park Flex at Woodland, Discmania's 303 Open, and Lake Marshall Open- Pro.


Timeline of Natalie Ryan's case

In December, the Professional Disc Golf Association introduced a new policy on trans women’s participation in their events. The policy stated that they had to fulfill one of the three requirements:

  • Have undergone hormonal therapy for two years and reached a low testosterone level.
  • Have done gender-affirming surgery and reached that level
  • Have been on puberty blockers prior to age 12.

As per Association, the 28-year-old disc golfer didn't fulfill any of the requirements, resulting in her exclusion. The decision wasn't accepted by her and she filed a lawsuit in federal court in California against the association accusing them of illegal discrimination.

In February, she had filed a discrimination lawsuit against the tour, and the Professional Disc Golf Association for which she won a provisional restraining order on Thursday, May 12, allowing her to play in the first round of the OTB Open.

However, Disc Golf Pro Tour appealed against the ruling. The Ninth Circuit Court gave a stay on the District Court's restraining order last Friday, resulting in Ryan's ouster from the tournament.

The court ruling said as per the OutSports:

"It appears that the district court lacks diversity jurisdiction over the [Disc Golf Pro] Tour because Plaintiff and at least one member of the Tour are citizens of Virginia."

As per UltiWorld Disc Golf, the stay was issued not due to a lack of merit of jurisdiction but because the complainant Ryan wasn't entirely from a diverse state than the defendants which wasn't the case here,

Natalie said her ouster from OTB was targeted just like the new policy.

She posted on Instagram:

"The DGPT is now enforcing rules that it has no place to. They have only done this to hurt me. I will continue to litigate until justice is achieved. I will use this pain to make sure nobody else has to experience it."

She wrote that she was confident that the law was on their side.

Trans-women athletes have been fighting to get included in the women's sports category but those who are opposing feel that it will be unfair for the biological women.

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Edited by Shobhit Kukreti