Geneva – Rolex will be present as Patron of The Open Championship when the 150th edition of this historic Championship is staged at St Andrews from 14–17 July.
The brand’s relationship with the final men’s Major of the season is one of the most important in its expansive partnership with golf. Rolex clocks have adorned the roster of venues for more than 40 years, having first appeared at Royal St George’s in 1981. Its ties with The R&A, organizer of The Open and also the AIG Women’s Open, were founded on a mutual respect for tradition, integrity and humility.
ROLEX TESTIMONEE JORDAN SPIETH PLAYING A SHOT AT THE HOME OF GOLF, ST ANDREWS, HOST COURSE OF THE 144TH OPEN IN 2015
For more than 50 years, the Swiss watch manufacturer has developed strong bonds with the sport. The alliance was formed in 1967 through a handshake agreement with Arnold Palmer, who was joined by close friends and fellow members of The Big Three, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, as Rolex’s first golf Testimonees.
THE HOME OF GOLF
St Andrews Links holds a special place in the history of The Open, its Old Course one of the most venerated venues in the golfing world. Inaugurated in 1860, the game’s oldest Championship and its original Major returns to the Home of Golf for the 30th time, more than any other venue.
Renowned for its blind shots, wide fairways and large greens, St Andrews demands accuracy and precision. To succeed, players must take on the challenges posed by harsh links courses that have been shaped by nature, as well as unpredictable weather and the scrutiny of spectators.
The setting for some of golf’s most memorable moments, St Andrews has welcomed the game’s greatest players since it first hosted The Open in 1873. For many, being bestowed with the winner’s title of Champion Golfer of the Year has been the crowning achievement of their career.
ROLEX TESTIMONEE TIGER WOODS PLAYING A SHOT AT THE OPEN IN 2015
After winning The Open on the Old Course in 2000, Rolex Testimonee Tiger Woods said:
“It may be years before I fully appreciate it but I am inclined to believe that winning The Open at the Home of Golf is the ultimate achievement in the sport.”
Nicklaus, the winner of a record 18 Majors, viewed success on these hallowed links as the pinnacle of any golfer’s career. He said:
“If you’re going to be a player people will remember, you have to win The Open at St Andrews.”
Fundamental to championship’s unique appeal is the knowledgeable crowd. A record aggregate attendance of 290,000 is expected this year.
HISTORIC TESTIMONEE SUCCESS AT THE OPEN
Player was the first of The Big Three to win The Open, in 1959, and the only golfer in the 20th century to be victorious it in three different decades, having also taken the title in 1968 and 1974. Palmer completed back-to-back victories in 1962, while Nicklaus claimed the first of his three titles in 1966, prevailing again in 1970 and 1978, both times at St Andrews; he also boasts a record seven runner-up finishes.
THE BIG THREE, ROLEX TESTIMONEES ARNOLD PALMER, JACK NICKLAUS AND GARY PLAYER
Nicklaus recorded his last competitive round in The Open at St Andrews in 2005, when, in the company of fellow Rolex Testimonee Tom Watson, he birdied the last hole in emotional scenes. To celebrate his career achievements, he will be presented with honorary citizenship of the Royal Burgh of St Andrews at a civic ceremony two days before the start of this year’s Championship.
Following in the footsteps of The Big Three was Watson, who won five Open titles in an eight-year span between 1975 and 1983. Widely regarded as one of the greatest links players of all time, he had a special connection with the championship, having competed in it for more than four decades. In 2009, aged 59, he narrowly missed equalling the record for the most Open victories, losing in a play-off.
Rolex Testimonee Jordan Spieth carded four sub-70 rounds, the only player in the field to do so, when he lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale in 2017. In victory, he joined Nicklaus as the only other player to win three of golf’s four men’s Majors before his 24th birthday. With two other top-10 finishes in the tournament, Spieth has the proven championship pedigree to once again excel.
Woods won two of this three Open titles at the Home of Golf, in 2000 and 2005, and the 15-time Major winner returns to the scene of those triumphs looking to edge closer to Nicklaus’s 18.
Following his U.S. Open heroics last month, Matthew Fitzpatrick will be aiming to claim back-to-back Majors. Runner-up at Brookline was fellow Rolex Testimonee Scottie Scheffler, who won his maiden Major at the Masters Tournament earlier this year. Eighth at last year’s Open, he will be hoping to build on a stellar season in which he has so far won three other tournaments and established himself as World No. 1.
NOTES TO EDITORS
ROLEX TESTIMONEE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS
Gary Player (1959, 1968, 1974)
Arnold Palmer (1961, 1962)
Jack Nicklaus (1966, 1970, 1978)
Tom Watson (1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983)
Tiger Woods (2000, 2005, 2006)
Phil Mickelson (2013)
Jordan Spieth (2017)
Francesco Molinari (2018)
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.
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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