Tadd Fujikawa has inspired golf fans since he qualified for the 2006 U.S. Open at just 15 years old. He’s now breaking new ground off the course. On Tuesday Fujikawa became the first professional golfer to come out publicly as gay hoping to serve as “an inspiration and making a difference in someone’s life.”
With the 2019 Masters beginning the following week this is a great opportunity to see Augusta National at its best under tournament conditions.
“How is today’s long range sniper shooting preparing me for the Ryder Cup?” he wrote. “Meditation controlling my thoughts breathing heart rate and connecting with the target are critical for both!”
In GOLF’s 2018 anonymous player poll we surveyed 59 Tour pros on a wide variety of subjects (Slow play! Cheating on Tour! Tiger vs. Phil!). One of the most compelling questions came on NBC/Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee who has a history of polarizing opinions.
“Whether the LGBTQ is what you support or not we must liberate and encourage each other to be our best selves whatever that may be. It’s the only way we can make this world a better place for future generations.
“I’ve been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality. I thought that I didn’t need to come out because it doesn’t matter if anyone knows. But I remember how much other’s stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope.
The highly anticipated addition to the run-up to Masters week — a women’s amateur event beginning in 2019 — will make things look very different in early April. Beyond the most obvious differences the production will also look different as NBC Sports has won the broadcasting rights to the event.
Fujikawa came onto the scene as a teenage amateur sensation from Hawaii who qualified for the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. He turned pro the following year and made the cut at the Sony Open becoming the youngest player in decades to make a weekend on the PGA Tour.
I spent way too long pretending hiding and hating who I was. I was always afraid of what others would think/say. I’ve struggled with my mental health for many years because of that and it put me in a really bad place.
But he has the approval of far more according to the poll. Sixty-four percent said they respect Chamblee’s opinions with one pro adding “Say what you want but the guy does his homework.” The poll question — and select responses — are below.
Tickets will be available for all three rounds. If you successfully acquire passes to the first two rounds your entry will be free. Passes for the final round at Augusta National will run you $75.
Fujikawa 27 posted a picture to Instagram accompanied by a caption explaining his decision to come out. He told Outsports that he had not come out to anyone in the professional golf world until Tuesday’s post. “The love and support have been overwhelming” he said.