Rolex Returns As Official Timekeeper And Official Partner Of The PGA Championship At Southern Hills Country Club

May 17 03:03 2022

Rolex will be present as the Official Timekeeper and Official Partner when the 104th PGA Championship returns to Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 19–22 May.

Renowned for having the strongest field among the four men’s Majors and a fan-friendly atmosphere, the PGA Championship promotes innovation, leadership, and aspiration.

Organized by the PGA of America, the second men’s Major of the season is contested by professionals only although it is unique among the four Majors with its inclusion of the ‘Team of 20’ – a contingent of PGA professionals who have achieved entry through local qualifiers. The PGA Championship has been a rich source of success for Rolex’s family of Testimonees, with eight members having won a cumulative 18 championships. The names of the winners are inscribed on the Wanamaker Trophy awarded to the winner of the event since the inaugural edition in 1916.

The Southern Hills course, which features pristine greens, strategic hazards and slender, meandering fairways, has undergone an extensive renovation under the supervision of leading golf architect and Rolex Testimonee, Gil Hanse. His team has looked to maintain the brilliance of Perry Maxwell’s 1936 design, restoring as much of the original course while ensuring the new layout challenges the best golfers of today and the future.

This year’s event marks a record fifth PGA Championship to be played at the historic venue, which has also hosted the U.S. Open on three occasions. It places a premium on long drives off the tee, coupled with accurate iron play to slick greens, an exacting test that always produces exceptional golf. In their quest to be crowned champion, players will need to demonstrate high levels of precision, performance and reliability, qualities that resonate with Rolex’s own quest for perpetual excellence, in its watchmaking and all other endeavours.

The Swiss watch manufacturer has been an indelible part of golf for more than 50 years. The partnership was established in 1967 following a pioneering agreement with Arnold Palmer, who was joined by his on-course rivals and great friends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player – The Big Three – as the brand’s first Testimonees.

The relationship continues to flourish and develop globally. Rolex has formed alliances at all levels of the game, including with the USGA and The R&A, who together govern it worldwide, as well as with champions of the game past and present, all the Major championships and important amateur tournaments.

HISTORY MAKERS

Several Rolex Testimonees are among a group of players to have won the PGA Championship more than once, including Nicklaus, Player, Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka (see below for full details of victorious Testimonees).

Woods returns to Southern Hills for the first time since his triumph there in 2007, when he claimed back-to-back PGA Championship titles for the second time in his career, a feat no other player has accomplished. The most successful golfer of his generation and an inspiration to millions around the world, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame earlier this year.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler heads to Oklahoma on the back of capturing his first Major at the 86th Masters Tournament. The Rolex Testimonee secured his fourth win in six starts with a three-shot victory at Augusta National Golf Club and will now look to claim two consecutive Majors, a feat achieved by only 20 golfers.

Ahead of the PGA Championship, Rolex Testimonee, Scheffler said:

“I always dreamed of competing in the best tournaments in the world, so being World No.1 going into the first two Majors of 2022 is a bit surreal. To now be a Major champion and have the chance to add to this at the PGA Championship off the back of the Masters is incredibly special. It is difficult to put into words. The PGA Championship always provides one of the toughest tests in golf, but I’m in a great position to take on Southern Hills where I remember fondly watching Tiger Woods winning in 2007. The ultimate dream would be to play alongside him at the PGA as he remains one of my biggest influences in the game.”

Former champions competing at Southern Hills this year include several other Rolex Testimonees, among them Koepka and Justin Thomas. In 2018, Koepka shot rounds of 69, 63, 66 and 66 to equal the record lowest score in a Major. The following year he became the first player since Woods to win back-to-back PGA Championship titles.

Thomas, the tournament winner in 2017 and like Koepka, a former World No. 1, will be aiming to maintain the stellar form that has earned six top-10 finishes this year, including at the Masters.

Seeking to have their name inscribed on the trophy for the first time will be fellow Major winners Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth. Should Spieth win, he would complete golf’s career Grand Slam of winning all four men’s Majors, a feat has been achieved by an exclusive group that includes fellow Testimonees Nicklaus, Player and Woods.

ROLEX NEW GUARD

These established champions will be joined by the Rolex New Guard. This supremely talented band of young players includes World No. 17 Joaquin Niemann, who in 2019 became the first Chilean player to win a PGA Tour event and added a second victory earlier this year at The Genesis Invitational. Other members eager to make their mark are Cameron Champ of the United States and South Korea’s Sungjae Im, both top-10 finishers at last month’s Masters Tournament, as well as Garrick Higgo (South Africa) and Matthew Wolff (USA).

ROLEX TESTIMONEE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS

Gary Player (1962, 1972)

Jack Nicklaus (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980)

Tiger Woods (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007)

Phil Mickelson (2005, 2021)

Martin Kaymer (2010)

Jason Day (2015)

Justin Thomas (2017)

Brooks Koepka (2018, 2019)

ABOUT ROLEX AND GOLF

Rolex is committed to the permanent quest for excellence in all its endeavours and has been a long-term supporter of golf in its pursuit of the same. The brand’s enduring relationship with the sport began more than 50 years ago, in 1967, when Arnold Palmer, joined by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, became the brand’s first golfing Testimonees. Known together as The Big Three, these legendary players changed the face of golf forever, and their partnership with Rolex marked the beginning of a relationship based on the shared commitment to continuous improvement and unwavering precision. Since then, the affiliation has grown and flourished, permeating every level of the game worldwide. From elite players and golf legends to all the game’s Major championships, where success represents the pinnacle of achievement in the sport, as well as the foremost professional tours and worldwide amateur championships, Rolex is ever-present. In 2021 Rolex further deepened its support by becoming a Worldwide Partner of The Ryder Cup, to act as Official Timekeeper at every iteration of the sport’s pre-eminent team competition. The Swiss manufacturer’s support for the game is built on a strong sense of integrity and respect for tradition that promote the continuity of expertise and transfer of knowledge, and an understanding of the importance of investing in the sport’s development for future generations.

ABOUT ROLEX

An unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise

Rolex is an integrated and independent Swiss watch manufacture. Headquartered in Geneva, the brand is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products – symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The movements of its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches are certified by COSC, then tested in-house for their precision, performance and reliability. The Superlative Chronometer certification, symbolized by the green seal, confirms that each watch has successfully undergone tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These are periodically validated by an independent external organization.

The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. In the course of its history, Rolex has registered over 500 patents. At its four sites in Switzerland, the brand designs, develops and produces the majority of its watch components, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, the brand is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.

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