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Jun 25, 2024 6:22 pm

Netherlands denies three golfers from competing in Olympics

joost luiten

The Netherlands will not allow Joost Luiten, Darius Van Driel or Dewi Weber to represent the country in the Olympic men’s and women’s golf competitions.

Luiten and van Driel earned spots in the men’s tournament via their positions in the Official World Golf Ranking on the cutoff date earlier this month. So did Anne van Dam, the highest-ranked Dutch woman in the women’s world rankings, and Weber.

But Luiten, van Driel and Weber did not meet additional national requirements laid out by the Dutch Olympic Committee and Dutch Sports Federation (NOC*NSF).

For the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, the Netherlands set a standard that players must be ranked in the top 100 in the world or the top 36 of the Olympic ranking to be allowed to compete. If that remains their standard, Luiten fell shy at No. 40 in the Olympic ranking and No. 147 in the world; van Driel is No. 50 and No. 237, respectively.

The national sports federation does not believe that the golfers are likely to finish highly in the Olympic competition.

“NOC*NSF believes that there is insufficient reason to deviate from the national criteria. According to the sports association, no reasonable chance of a top 8 ranking in the Olympic Games has been demonstrated,” the Netherlands Golf Federation said in a statement to the website Golf.nl.

In 2021, players ranked lower than Luiten won silver and bronze in the men’s competition. Rory Sabbatini shot a final-round 61 to win silver, representing Slovakia, and C.T. Pan of Taiwan took home bronze after emerging from a seven-man playoff. They were No. 161 and 181 in the world rankings at the time of qualification.

The only reason van Dam, the No. 108-ranked woman in the world, is being allowed to compete is a carveout to the national federation’s rules. According to Golf.nl, a player would be allowed to attend the Olympics if they finish in the top eight of a tournament with a strong field, which Anne van Dam did by taking second at the Open de Espana on the Ladies European Tour.

–Field Level Media

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