“Bulls**t:” DP World Tour player Joost Luiten denied entry to 2024 Olympic Games




Those words describe Joost Luiten’s situation related to the Men’s Olympic Golf Competition in Paris later this month.

Although, Luiten himself used a more explicit term to describe what happened to him on Tuesday.

“It is all bullshit, and they all hide behind each other,” Luiten said to Handicap 54, an Argentinian golf website facilitated by Matías Miguel Torge.

“I have done nothing wrong! Because of the mistakes and decisions of others, I am the one who is getting shafted!”

Last month, Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press reported that Dutch Olympic officials would deny its golfers from participating in the Olympics in Paris. Officials felt their players did not have a chance to win a medal against the competitive 60-player field and, therefore, opted to keep two of its male players—including Luiten—and one female player home.

But the 38-year-old Luiten has eight career victories on the DP World Tour and eight PGA Championship appearances, with his best finish coming in 2012 at Kiawah Island, where he tied for 21st. He even played in all four majors in 2014 and 2015 and then tied for 27th at the 2016 Summer Olympics—the last time the Dutch Federation sent golfers to the quadriennial games. Holland pulled a similar stunt in 2021 when Tokyo hosted the COVID-19-delayed Olympics.

Joost Luiten, DP World Tour, Genesis Scottish Open

Joost Luiten on the practice putting green ahead of the Genesis Scottish Open.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

To combat this decision, the International Golf Federation (IGF) penned a letter to the Dutch Olympic Committee:

“It is common for lower-ranked players to make a significant impact in major tournaments, defying their current standings,” the IGF letter said, per Ferguson.

“There are numerous examples of players who are lower ranked on OWGR who perform well in big events.”

Luiten is a prime example. He has played well in big events before and has the talent to compete on the grandest of stages.

Look no further than his current standing. As of Jul. 8, Luiten ranked 40th in the IGF rankings while also sitting 117th in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR). Twenty other Olympic golfers rank worse than he does in the OWGR, thus giving him an even better chance of performing well at Le Golf National in Paris.

The Dutchman knows that, too, hence his decision to file a grievance in court late last month. Luiten then won the case last week, resulting in him posting to his social media: “Going to the Olympics. Very happy with the victory in court. Big thanks to my lawyers at @snijders.advocaten. Could not have done it without them.”

One week later, the International Olympic Committee denied Luiten entry to the Paris Olympic Games through a statement provided by the IGF:

“When the IGF received notification of Joost Luiten’s court ruling in the Netherlands and his entry from the Netherlands’ National Olympic Committee, his unused quota spot had already been reallocated pursuant to the IGF’s published qualification procedures,” the statement reads.

“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 IOC denied the request on Tuesday. 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 did nothing wrong, yet he cannot represent his home country and play. This is ridiculously frustrating for the Dutchman, who wanted nothing more than to compete for a Gold Medal. But with the way his home country has treated him, would Luiten want to wear a medal for his native Holland at this point anyway?

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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