Netherlands golfer Joost Luiten denied Olympics spot once again after proposed exemption

 

European Tour player Joost Luiten was told by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that his proposed exemption to be added to the Paris Olympics golf field was denied. 

Luiten initially qualified for the Olympics. However, he was prohibited by his home country, the Netherlands, because he was not in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking. 

“When the International Golf Federation (IGF) received notification of Joost Luiten’s court ruling in the Netherlands and his entry from the Netherlands’ National Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), his unused quota spot had already been reallocated pursuant to the IGF’s published qualification procedures,” the IGF said in a statement.

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“The IGF was not a party to the legal action brought forth by Luiten in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, in an effort to support Luiten, the IGF sought an exception from the IOC to increase the field size of the men’s Olympic golf competition from 60 to 61 competitors to include Luiten, however the request was denied by the IOC today. The IGF has advised Luiten of the IOC’s decision, and he has not informed the IGF whether he intends to pursue this matter further.”

Luiten was among three Dutch golfers who took exception to their country’s decision not to send them to Paris. 

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“I am very sad to say I will not play the 2024 Olympics. The [Netherlands Olympic Committee/Dutch Sports Federation] will not send me even though I have qualified by the international golf federations criteria and the Olympic criteria,” Luiten, a six-time European Tour winner, wrote in a post on Instagram late last month. 

“[The NOCNSF] have their own criteria (good chance to finish top 8) and they don’t think I have a chance to finish in the top 8 of The Olympics (60men field) even though over my 18 year professional career I have finished inside of the top 10 almost 20% of the time and those were 156 man fields. This was 25% in the 2023 season.”

Luiten added that the Dutch Olympic Committee has “absolutely no clue about golf.”

Luiten is currently ranked No. 159 in the world, though at the time of the initial decision, he was ranked No. 40 in the Olympic field after qualifying. 

The Netherlands Golf Federation tried fighting for the golfers, who included Darius Van Driel and women’s golfer Dewi Weber, who both qualified for the Olympics as well. However, despite presenting data with hopes the Dutch Olympic Committee would change their minds, the decision was final. 

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“Our own country is saying we don’t think you’re worthy of being an Olympian, and you’re not worthy of representing the Netherlands,” Van Driel wrote in a social media post. 

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