I decided to open a specific topic about the Dutch golfer Joost Luiten. That way people who are not interested in my posts about him won't be bothered in regular topics (not that I will never mention him ever there), and people who are interested in Luiten can follow interesting things here. Today I seeked contact with his father trough his official website to ask him if I can use updates on his personal site here (translated by me) or if they can do anything else for me to put here (for example little reports about his experience on PGA Tour events). I just got an e-mail back sending his phone number asking me to call him so hopefully something nice will come out of that; I will do so tomorrow.
Anyway, I couldn't help noticing that Luiten is not very familiar by golf fans in the USA. That makes sence, since he mostly plays on the European Tour and this year is the first time within the top 50 of the world (so also the first year he plays all the big tournaments). His track record last year and this year is quite impressive, yet to be honest on the really big tournaments his performance was slightly disappointing. Augusta T26 was fine (considering it was his debut there). The lack of one really big result on one of those tournaments is THE reason he is not in the Ryder Cup yet. In points he is very close, and with a good result on the PGA Championship he might get there after all......
Luiten, born in 1986, went pro in 2006. Before that, as an amateur, he won in 2004 the Dutch Boys Championship, Dutch Youths Championship and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. In 2005 he won both the Spanish as the German amateur championships. In teams he won in 2006 the Eisenhower Trophy where he played his final 5 holes in -6 (which gave him a wild card for the KLM Open, finishing 2nd), the Bonallack Trophy and the Palmer Cup.
As a pro he won on the Challenge Tour the Allianz Open of Toulouse (2007) and on the Alps Tour Circolo Rapallo Open. His first 'real' victory (European Tour) came in 2011, Ishkandar Johor Open. In the meantime Luiten suffered from a wrist injury which costed him quite some time. 2013 he really put himself on the map with two victorys in one year, the Austrian Open and on home soil his biggest and nicest victory ever on the KLM Open. That vicotry placed him on top of the Ryder Cup rankings at that moment. He ended the year within the top 50 of the world for the first time, as a result he will play in almost every 'big' tournament in 2014.
In 2013/2014 he played twice in a team match for Europe. At the Seve Trophy he was the best debut player ever (with Lourdy) winning all their matches together; his single match was lost though, but Europe won the trophy for the first time in over ten years. On request by McGinlay he also played for Europe in the EurAsia Cup. Pairing with Dubuisson they won 1 match and they lost 1, and at the singles Luiten was the only player for Europe (besides Jimenez) who won his singles match, resulting in a tie for the trophy.
In 2014 he is having quite a solid year. Playing steady, having a lot of high finishes and until a few weeks ago barely missed a cut. Only thing missing is a victory, came close a couple of times (twice missed by 1 shot).
Hope this is interesting for at least some of you, and maybe you will check his scores now every now and then (ánd you know now a little bit who Luiten is when you see him on the leaderboard). I will use this topic to update on his performances, and it can also used for discussion about him, his performances, the tournaments he plays him (who knows, maybe next year full time on the PGA Tour), news etc. Thanks for reading and participating!