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Joost Luiten and Darius van Driel will NOT be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games this summer – because officials in their native Netherlands don’t believe they’re capable of winning medals!

Six-time DP World Tour winner Luiten and van Driel, who won his maiden title on the European Tour at the Kenya Open in March, had qualified for the Paris Games courtesy of their position on the International Golf Federation’s Olympic golf ranking.

Qualifying concluded following the US Open earlier this month, with each represented nation having until July 9 to confirm their entry.

However, as first reported by the Associated Press, the Dutch Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF) has elected not to send Luiten and van Driel, because it doesn’t see either golfer as a realistic medal hope.

Solheim Cup star Anne van Dam is the only golfer the Netherlands will be sending, with the eligible Dewi Weber also missing out for the same reasons as Luiten and van Driel.

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“According to the NOC*NSF, there is no reasonable chance of a top-8 ranking in the Olympic Games [for Luiten, van Driel or Weber,” said a statement issued by the Netherlands Golf Federation (NGF).

“The players involved have been informed of the decision by the NGF and they are also disappointed.”

This is the second straight Olympics that eligible Dutch golfers have been denied the opportunity to compete in the Games by their national organisation.

It is understood that the players’ world rankings is the reason for their withdrawals.

Both Luiten and van Driel are outside the top-100 on the Official World Golf Ranking, with Weber currently 302nd on the Rolex Women’s Ranking.

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At the Covid-delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021, world No.161 Rory Sabbatini won silver for Slovakia, with No. 181 C.T. Pan claiming bronze.

“The NGF has provided arguments and data to advocate for Luiten, Van Driel and Weber,” added the statement from the Netherlands Golf Federation. “Golf-specific information has also been shared with NOC*NSF to clarify the unique characteristics of golf.

“Despite these efforts, no other Dutch golfers will be sent to the Olympic Games in Paris besides Anne van Dam.”

The 2024 men’s Olympic golf competition is scheduled to take place at Le Golf National near Paris from August 1-4, with the women’s competition taking place at the same course from August 7-10.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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