Olympic Golf

Dutch golfer wins court case to play in Olympics

July 02, 2024

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

A Dutch court has determined that professional golfer Joost Luiten can indeed compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris after the Netherlands Olympic Committee and Netherlands Sports Federation had said it would not send three players who qualified to the Games.

Luiten posted on his Instagram account on Tuesday, “The Olympic rings are colored again. I have WON the Court case and the @NOCNSF have to enter me before 5PM today!!! LET’s GO @olympics

Earlier in the day, in a post that featured the five Olympic rings all in black, Luiten said he would be in court. “I will be fighting the decision to not send me to the Olympics by the NOC/NSF,” he wrote on Instagram. “We will put our case in front of a judge and get an independent judgement. An independent look to my case that’s something I have been looking for and know I have not been getting from the NOC/NSF.”

It was not immediately clear what impact Luiten’s court victory would have on the two other Dutch golfers who qualified for Paris—Darius van Driel on the men’s side and Dewi Weber for the women.

The Dutch Olympic golf controversy arose after the three players involved began speaking out about being denied by their own country the chance to play in the Olympics. Sixty players in each gender qualify through rules established by the IOC and International Golf Federation. A maximum of four players from each gender and any one country can participate—though outside of the top 15 in the IGF Olympic rankings, that number is reduced to two.

The Dutch trio fulfilled those requirements, but in June, NOC/NSF told the players and the Netherlands Golf Federation that they would not be going because they didn’t have a “reasonable chance” of finishing in the top eight in the Olympics.

Since the reintroduction of golf to the Games in 2016, the Dutch Olympic and sports bodies added additional requirements for golfers. Women must be among the top 24 in the Olympic ranking and men in the top 27. At the time of the NOC/NSF decision on the current Dutch players, Luiten ranked 40th in the Olympic rankings and 147th in the World Ranking. Van Driel was 49/237 and Weber 58/302. The only Dutch golfer who was cleared by NOC/NSF for Paris was Anne van Damme, who was 34th in the Olympic rankings, but qualified through a new Dutch rule that accepts a top-eight finish in a “strong field.” Van Dam reached that bar when she posted a runner-up in the LET’s Tour Championship last November.

Meantime, the UK golf website bunkered.co.uk has reported that New Zealand LET player Momoka Kobori, ranked No. 293 in the world, has been told by her country's Olympic commitee that she would not be going to Paris despite qualifying. She is awaiting a decision on her appeal.

he Olympic golf will be played at Le Golf National, site of the 2018 Ryder Cup. The men's competition is Aug. 1-4, and the women play Aug. 7-10.