Tadd Fujikawa, who as a 16-year-old amateur made the cut at the 2007 Sony Open in Hawaii, announced on his Instagram account this week that he is gay. He is believed to be the first openly gay male professional golfer. Fujikawa wrote that he decided to make the announcement â€œin hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someoneâ€™s life.â€� â€œIÂ thought that I didn’t need to come out because it doesn’t matter if anyone knows,â€� he wrote. â€œBut I remember how much other’s stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope. 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. Now I’m standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community.â€� In 2006, Fujikawa played in the U.S. Open as a 15-year-old. He made the cut the following year at the Sony Open in his native Hawaii, turning 16 the Monday of tournament week. He is the third-youngest player to make a PGA TOUR cut, trailing only Tianlang Guan and Bob Panasik.Â Fujikawa finished T20 after shooting consecutive 66s in the second and third rounds. He turned pro later that year. Fujikawa also contended in the 2009 Sony Open after shooting a third-round 62. He started the final round in sixth place before shooting 73 to finish T32. He also finished T19 at the 2012 Sony Open. He has competed in 15 PGA TOUR events, most recently in 2017 after he Monday qualified for the Sony Open. He last competed in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event in 2017, playing five times on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada. Fujikawa wrote last October about his struggles with anxiety and depression. He won the Hawaii State Open two months later, his first professional victory in seven years. â€œHonestly never thought this day would come again,â€� he wrote. â€œ(Thank you) to everyone who has supported me and helped me to keep going when I was at my lowest. I am forever grateful.â€�
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