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At least one more golfer faces Olympic heartache after two other nations deliberated whether to leave out players who have qualified for the Paris Games. 

It was revealed last week that the Netherlands would deny Joost Luiten, Darius Van Driel and Dewi Weber from representing them in the men’s and women’s golf competitions next month.

The Dutch had four eligible golfers, but Solheim Cup star Anne van Dam is the only competitor being sent to take part at Le Golf National due to the nation’s separate qualification rules for golf that deemed the other three unrealistic medal hopes.

And sources close to the situation have told that another qualifier is in danger of suffering the same fate – and there is growing unrest in the playing ranks.

It is understood that Olympic committees for both Norway and New Zealand have strongly considered pulling golfers from their roster, despite the fact they have earned their place in the 60-player fields via the Olympic Golf Ranking.

• Dutch officials deny golf duo Olympic golf chance

• ‘It’s so stupid!’ – Darius van Driel blame after shock Olympic news

The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) have already confirmed that world No.6 Viktor Hovland and Korn Ferry Tour player Kris Ventura will take part at Le Paris National, the home of the 2018 Ryder Cup. 

But female qualifiers Celine Borge and Madelene Stavnar were not had the same guarantees as the NIF doubted whether the pair have a chance of success.

Borge, who plays on the LPGA Tour, and Stavnar, a promising player on the LET, were both in limbo but have since been relieved to discover that they will indeed be sent to the Olympics, a late decision that should be confirmed on Wednesday.

“We have had good and close discussions with NIF and hope to see four Norwegians in Paris,” an official from the Norwegian Golf Federation told “But the final decision is on NIF, so at this point we cannot confirm either way.”

The situation in New Zealand is more ominous, however.

Two-time medallist Lydia Ko is one of the country’s leading hopes again in France, while Ryan Fox and Daniel Hillier are locked in to tee it up in the men’s competition.

Yet it appears that former world No.1 Ko could be without a compatriot in the women’s event, as has discovered that LET player Momoka Kobori is likely to miss out.

• Olympic Golf Rankings: Which players have qualified for the 2024 Games?

• Wyndham Clark: Olympic golf is bigger than Ryder Cup

Kobori, the world No.293, said earlier this year that representing her nation at the Olympics would fulfil a “childhood dream”, and she went on to qualify by staying inside the top-60 before the cut-off on June 24.

But the 25-year-old has been blocked from playing by New Zealand’s Olympic Committee and now faces an anxious wait to see if her appeal is successful ahead of this week’s registration deadline.

Such uncertainty will pose further questions about golf’s position at the Olympics and the wider understanding of such an unpredictable sport in the corridors of power.

It was pointed out by the rejected Dutchman Van Driel last week that Rory Sabbatini, then the world No.161, won silver for Slovakia at the delayed Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, CT Pan then ranked No.181 – claimed bronze for Taiwan in the same men’s event.

Van Driel directed the blame for his snub at André Cats, the man in charge of the Dutch Olympic Committee.

“It’s more ridiculous because they used to say in Holland competing is more important than winning,” he told last week. “They changed that statement for that Olympics.

“The issue is that they think we can’t finish in the top-eight. To be honest, the Olympics is the weakest field in golf. Only 60 guys in Europe. If anyone of those 60 guys has a good week – maybe Scottie Scheffler – but the other two medals are up for grabs.

“A lot of people are angry, but in the end its down to one guy and I don’t know if someone p***ed him off or he doesn’t like golf. It could have been solved pretty quick but he chose not to do it.”

The final fields for both the men’s and women’s Olympic golf competitions will be published on July 9.

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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