Six-time European Tour winner Joost Luiten will be out of competition for several weeks while he recovers from wrist surgery.
“The bad news is that I will need surgery and will have to rehabilitate for three to four months,” he said. “That means I will be unable to play in tournaments, and unfortunately will have to miss the KLM Open on home soil.
“The positive thing is that according to my surgeon, Dr Richard Koch, the surgery will be quick and more importantly, will allow me to play for years without pain.”
The Dutchman, who has twice won his home European Tour event, in 2013 and 2016, had been experiencing a growing discomfort on the golf course.
“Due to overloading the wrist over a very long period, extra calcium was produced on the bone,” he said. “This has created a thickening. When I move my wrist, the tendons become thickened by the bone, which causes irritation and pain.
“During the procedure next week, that bulge will be removed and then the bone must have time to recover. I must confess that I am very relieved. The past few weeks, I have avoided any use of the wrist, but the pain has not gone away.
“Sometimes doubt strikes and you think of the worst-case scenario. Fortunately, there is nothing seriously wrong with the wrist. The knowledge that I will finally be able to play golf again without pain makes me look to the future with a lot of confidence.
Despite the setback, Luiten is eager to remain involved in the KLM Open.
“The organisation of the KLM Open, the partners KLM and ING Private Banking, and all other stakeholders involved empathise with Joost in this difficult time,” said Daan Slooter, Tournament Director of the KLM Open.
“As a professional athlete, it must be extremely painful when the body does not want to co-operate. We hope that Joost will be 'fighting fit' again later this year and that the six-time European Tour winner will be able to take his place among Europe's elite golfers once again.
“As a two-time winner and ambassador of the KLM Open, Joost will be missed as a player at The Dutch in September. However, he has indicated that he would like to continue his role as ambassador before and during the tournament, for which we are very grateful. It shows once again why the Netherlands is so proud that Joost is the flag-bearer of Dutch golf. We can not imagine a better role model.
“The focus now lies on a successful operation and a speedy recovery. We hereby wish Joost strength a quick return to good health.”