Dutch golfer Joost Luiten, despite court case win, not allowed to compete in Paris Olympics

Though he both qualified to be there and won in court, Joost Luiten won't be representing the Netherlands at the Paris Olympics this summer.

Luiten was one of four golfers from the Netherlands who qualified to compete in the Olympics, along with Darius Van Driel, Anne van Dam and Dewi Weber. The Netherlands’ Olympic committee, however, only opted to send van Dam to the Games as they felt she was the only one who had a realistic chance to win a medal.

Luiten then took the Dutch Olympic committee to court in the Netherlands and won last week, which should have granted him entry into the tournament. But on Tuesday, the International Golf Federation said that his spot in the 60-man field “had already been reallocated.” The IGF also blamed the International Olympic Committee, which apparently denied a request to increase the field size specifically for Luiten.

"The IGF was not party to the legal action brought forth by Luiten in the Netherlands," the IGF said in a statement, in part, via ESPN. "Nevertheless, in an effort to support Luiten, the IGF sought an exception from the IOC to increase the field size in 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."

Luiten slammed the IOC in an Instagram post on Tuesday after the decision.

"I can't take the Olympics (IOC) serious anymore! If you way the fundamentals of the Olympic games are about integrity, fair play and respect, you are all lies!" he wrote in Instagram, in part. "Even though I have been qualified by their own rules and entered before the entry deadline, they don't let me play! ... It's all politics and all they care about is that they have their own party at the Olympics with their mates!!"

Luiten, 38, has won six times on the DP World Tour in his career, most recently at the NBO Oman Open in 2018. He’s currently No. 159 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and he was No. 40 in the Olympic rankings when the Netherlands opted not to send him to Paris.

Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Wyndham Clark and Collin Morikawa are the four American golfers who will compete in the Olympics tournament, which starts on Aug. 1 at Le Golf National just outside of Paris. The top 15 golfers in the OWGR after the U.S. Open were eligible to compete, though each country could only send a maximum of four golfers. After that, the rest of the field was made up of the top two eligible golfers per country, so long as that country didn't already have two golfers inside the top 15.

Schauffele, who won the PGA Championship earlier this season in what was his first major championship win, won the gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Rory Sabbatini finished in second, and C.T. Pan — who narrowly earned a spot at the British Open with his finish at the John Deere Classic on Sunday — won the bronze medal in a playoff.

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