The European Challenge Tour today announced that Rolex, a dedicated supporter of the Tour for over 30 years, has become the Title Sponsor of the Challenge Tour Grand Final, reaffirming its commitment to the next generation of future stars, while The R&A will become the Supporting Partner of the season-finale.
The Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A, which will take place at T-Golf & Country Club, Mallorca, from November 4-7, 2021, will bring the 2021 Road to Mallorca Rankings to a close, with an increase in prize fund from 420,000 to 450,000. The top 20 players will earn European Tour playing privileges for the following year.
Rolex’s affiliation with the Challenge Tour dates back over 30 years and by taking on the Title Sponsorship of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A, Rolex enhances its ongoing support of the sport’s future stars.
Having been at the heart of the game for over 50 years, Rolex provides support for both up-and-coming and world-class players, the main professional Tours and bodies, as well as the finest events on the golf calendar.
The Rolex Series, the premium category of events on the European Tour’s International Schedule with a minimum prize fund of US$8 million, was launched in 2017 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Rolex’s enduring partnership with the European Tour. It gives a clear pathway for emerging talent from amateur, through the Challenge Tour, to competing against the very best in the world.
Rolex also recently became a Worldwide Partner of the Ryder Cup, golf’s greatest team contest, and aligns with the PGA of America as Official Timekeeper, a role it has enjoyed with Team Europe since 1995.
Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Rolex for the support they have given to the Challenge Tour over the last 30 years, they have been a true partner to our Tour throughout this time and we are very excited to work with them on this next chapter.
“Both Rolex and The R&A have shown an incredible commitment to the Challenge Tour during the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season, Rolex repurposed the tournament prize fund from the cancelled Rolex Trophy to benefit the wider Challenge Tour schedule and its members, while on top of its annual grant, The R&A provided additional funding through its COVID-19 Support Fund, a £7million package to help golf deal with the impact of the global pandemic. We are delighted both have further reaffirmed their much-valued support with today’s announcement.
“The Challenge Tour Grand Final is the pinnacle of the Road to Mallorca season and for Rolex to become Title Sponsor of the event only increases its prestige and profile within the world of golf and highlights their dedication to the Challenge Tour. Meanwhile, The R&A’s involvement as Supporting Partner continues their commitment to developing future generations on their journey from the amateur game to the top level, as well as the promotion and progression of the sport in emerging golfing nations.”
The Challenge Tour has been at the forefront of taking golf across the globe for over three decades, playing in over 50 countries worldwide.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer of The R&A, said: “We are committed to supporting the European Challenge Tour and are proud to extend this support to the Grand Final and the culmination of the Road to Mallorca season. This is a hugely important occasion in the European golfing calendar and another key milestone on the pathway for emerging professional golfers.
“Our goal is to do as much as we can to strengthen the rungs of the golfing ladder from grassroots through to elite amateurs then on to the professional tours. We want to provide the opportunities for players to emerge, develop and flourish at the highest levels of the game and inspire future generations.”
Rolex’s long-term commitment to the Challenge Tour began with the Rolex Trophy which has been part of the Challenge Tour’s schedule since the inaugural season in 1989, however the support will now be concentrated on the Grand Final, the Challenge Tour’s season-ending showpiece, and on support of a replacement event in August this year, as part of their commitment to the next generation of stars.
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.