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In what is already a highly competitive field, this is fast becoming the golf farce of 2024. 

Days after winning a court judgement to allow him to play in the Olympic Games, Joost Luiten has been denied his place once again.

Luiten, 38, finished 40th in qualifying for the men’s golf competition, comfortably inside the top-60 cut-off for the medal clash at Le Golf National near Paris next month.

However, his hopes of taking part appeared to be dashed when the Dutch Olympic Committee deemed he and compatriot Darius van Driel had “no reasonable chance” of bringing a medal home for their country and, therefore, would not be put forward to compete.

Luiten took his complaint further, submitting a legal challenge the Dutch Olympic Committee – otherwise known as the NOC NSF – last Tuesday. When that verdict came down in his favour, the six-time DP World Tour winner was reinstated to the Games.

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In a statement issued at that time, the International Golf Federation (IGF) said it was “pleased to share that Luiten was confirmed by the Dutch Olympic Committee and Dutch Sports Federations (NOC*NSF) to compete in the men’s Olympic golf competition.”

All’s well that ends well, right?

Wrong. 

In a fresh (and frankly embarrassing) twist for the IGF, the body has been forced to remove Luiten from the field after re-allocating his place before the outcome of his legal challenge was known.

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In a statement, the IGF said: “When the 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 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.”

UPDATE!

A furious Luiten has taken to social media this evening to vent his anger at the IOC’s decision.

“I can’t take The Olympics (IOC) serious anymore!” he wrote on Instagram. “If they say the fundamentals of the olympic games are about INTEGRITY, FAIRPLAY and RESPECT you are all lies!

“Even though I have qualified by their own rules and entered before the entry deadline, they don’t let me play!

“They don’t take the Dutch law as their jurisdiction and my spot in The Olympics had already been given away to somebody else because the @NOCNSF withdrew me early! Now they don’t want to give me my spot back!!!

“I don’t see any fair play or respect from the IOC, so how can they say The Olympic Games are built on those fundamentals??”

“It is all POLITICS and all they care about is that they have their own party at the Olympics with their mates!!”


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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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