Bizarre double Dutch withdrawal from the Olympics

This week we saw a host of players not make themselves available for the Olympics in Tokyo. Louis Oosthuizen, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer were all late withdrawals which meant that, following Lee Westwood’s earlier decline, that Tommy Fleetwood would represent Team GB.

But the strangest development was that the Dutch Olympic committee didn’t deem that two of their players – Joost Luiten and Wil Besseling – were worthy of making the trip although they had qualified on merit.
The Dutch has a quality rule in place for most sports and, for golf, the additional one is that a player has to be in the top 100 to be allowed to participate.

“I would have loved to go to Tokyo, despite the restrictions that will apply due to corona,” Luiten told golfNL. “[The Dutch Olympic committee] proves with what I consider unnecessary extra demands that they understand little about golf. It is common for golfers to win tournaments outside the top 100 in the world.”

The same happened to Anne van Dam in Rio – the Solheim Cup star qualified but she wasn’t allowed to take her part in the Games.

And it will be the same this year as she would have needed to finish inside the world’s top 100 as well as the top 36 of the Olympic rankings to be allowed to go.