Dutch golfers excluded: "No chance of medals"

"I am very sad to announce that I will not participate in the Olympics. This decision is shocking"

by Andrea Gussoni
Dutch golfers excluded: "No chance of medals"
© Getty Images Sport - Octavio Passos / Stringer

The Dutch Olympic Committee has decided to exclude three golfers from the Paris Games because, in their opinion, also looking at the world rankings, "they do not have a reasonable chance of ranking among the best eight". This is not a new fact, because already in Tokyo they opted for this line given that no one was in the Top 100 of the world ranking.

And so Joost Luiten and Darius Van Driel, as far as the men are concerned, will not participate in the individual competition scheduled from 1 to 4 August at Le Golf National.

Paris, golf

In their place, the Swiss Joel Girrbach and the Finn Tapio Pulkkanen enter the field.

The same goes for the Dewi Weber project. Therefore, the only one to represent the Netherlands in golf will be Anne Van Dam, number 108 in the world. The Dutch Golf Federation said it had "presented in-depth arguments and data", but there was nothing that could be done.

Yet recent history has shown that in golf, anything can happen. In Tokyo, Slovakia's Rory Sabbatini won the silver medal and, on the eve of the tournament, was in 161st place in the ranking. Even further behind, 181/o, the Taiwanese Pan Cheng-tsung who, after a seven-player play-off, took the bronze, overtaking champions such as Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa.

The International Golf Federation is also taking a position on the case. “We are extremely disappointed with this decision,” it said in a statement. "I am very sad to announce that I will not participate in the Olympics.

This decision is shocking", said Luiten, winner of six career titles on the DP World Tour, on his social media profiles. Willibrordus Adrianus Maria (Joost) Luiten (born 7 January 1986 in Bleiswijk) is a Dutch golfer and winner of the 2013 and 2016 KLM Open.

From the end of 2003 to the end of 2006, Luiten was part of the Dutch Juniors and Dutch selection of the NGF. The Dutch team, consisting of team members Luiten, Tim Sluiter and Wil Besseling, won the Eisenhower Trophy in Stellenbosch, South Africa. As a reward, he received a wildcard to play in the KLM Open at Kennemer in 2007, where he finished second.