Trolls came for rising star Xochitl Gomez. Then she took matters into her own hands.
After she was forced to withdraw from the U.S. Open this year because of her battle with celiac disease, Gomez decided to fight back against the prejudice she experienced playing for the United States.
And that’s why Gomez is one of only three active female members of the PGA Tour and is one of only a few athletes who have been to every major on the men’s tour. She is one of the top players on the women’s side since the tour launched its official women’s tour in 2013.
So when the PGA Tour announced on Aug. 18 that PGA champion Annika Sorenstam would be playing in her seventh major at the Women’s British Open in Nottingham, England — and that she would be joined by five other women — Gomez became a public figure.
“I’m a huge proponent of social justice, being an advocate for equality for women, and doing my part to bring in more diversity for women in sport,” Gomez said.
“I’m really excited that Annika would join our cause. She is such an amazing athlete, and I’m looking forward to having her come to play with us in Nottingham.”
Sorenstam won the British Open title and will meet her old touring compatriot, Lorie Kane, in the final round at the event. The Norwegian is one of only nine male players to have made the final day of a major on the women’s side. The other eight are: Annika Sjögren, Karina Haberski, Paula Creamer, Lydia Ko, Karine Icher, Suzann Pettersen, Angela Stanford and Michelle Wie.
The U.S. Women’s Open has been cancelled.
The men’s championship is set for Sept. 20-22 at Olympic Club.
Gomez, 34, is still competing on the World Golf Tour. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last year and her name is now engraved on the Hall of Fame’s Wall of Honor.
“I think it is important to be able to be represented for what you do on the golf course and what you bring to the games,” Gomez said. “When somebody can recognize the efforts