Thursday, July 18, 2024

Rolex: Celebrating 30 years of golf’s only major in continental Europe at the Amundi Evian Championship

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Geneva, July 2024 – Golf’s only Major to be staged in continental Europe, The Amundi Evian Championship is a reference point in the women’s game. First played in 1994, it was elevated to become the fifth women’s Major championship in 2013. Over the years, the tournament has developed its own history, balancing tradition with innovation while maintaining an unwavering respect for the spirit of the game. Rolex has been a Main Partner and Official Timekeeper at this tournament since 2000 as part of its broad and enduring commitment to women’s golf that dates back to 1980 when the Swiss watchmaker became a partner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).

©Rolex/Thomas Lovelock

The Amundi Evian Championship is held annually in July on The Champions Course at the Evian Resort Golf Club, nestled between the shores of Lake Geneva and the foot of the Alps. This year’s edition, from 11–14 July, marks the 30th anniversary of the inaugural tournament.

Each year, the tournament gathers the world’s elite from the Rolex Rankings to contest the season’s penultimate Major. Its honour roll of past champions includes Rolex Testimonee Annika Sörenstam (2000, 2002), one of the greatest golfers in the history of the women’s game and who set a benchmark of excellence to which the modern generation can aspire, along with fellow Swede Anna Nordqvist (2017).

Reflecting on her victory, which came in a thrilling playoff, Anna Nordqvist said: “Being European and winning a Major championship on European soil was very special. I would say that with all the history associated with The Amundi Evian Championship, the stunning views, amazing atmosphere, how well it is run and it being a tournament that I used to watch every summer growing up, it was an unforgettable moment. To have my name etched on the trophy is so special.”

EVIANC23ct_0815 - GV Brooke 18th.jpg

©Rolex/Chris Turvey

Other members of the Rolex family to triumph at this visually stunning venue include Suzann Pettersen of Norway (2013), New Zealand’s Lydia Ko (2015) and Brooke Henderson of Canada (2022). In capturing her second Major title at The Amundi Evian Championship in 2022, Henderson became the first LPGA player to begin any Major with successive rounds of 64. She also became the first Canadian golfer, man or woman, to win more than one Major title.

Commenting on the unique challenge of contesting the Major championships, Brooke Henderson said: “It is truly exciting to be able to compete in the Major championships and go up against the best female players in the world, and on such incredible and differing venues. During those weeks, you have to be at your best mentally, physically and even emotionally. You really do have to be in the right place on all fronts. There is always pressure when competing at Major championships as your career is ultimately defined by your performances and finishes during these tournaments. The challenge of playing impeccably, and to the best of your ability, is what makes those weeks so exciting.”

Steeped in history dating back to 1904, The Champions Course offers an unrivalled golfing experience. In 2013, it underwent significant renovation. The redesign work, undertaken by European Golf Design, has resulted in the course becoming even more befitting of a Major championship venue, adding more drama and spectator viewing areas.

Since 2019, The Prize for a Better Tomorrow presented by Rolex has been awarded at The Amundi Evian Championship. The international prize celebrates initiatives that have significant societal impact and promote qualities shared by this women’s Major championship and the Swiss watchmaker, namely excellence, generosity, continuity and inspiration. The prize shines a light on the commitment of individuals and organizations who champion a charitable cause and implement actions that improve and reinvent people’s lives.

The inaugural recipient of the prize was former World No. 1 and Rolex Testimonee Lorena Ochoa for the creation of her Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation. The prize was awarded by fellow Testimonee Lindsey Vonn, one of the most successful women’s skiers, and rewarded the Mexican golfer for her involvement in the education of underprivileged children in her native country. Shortly after turning professional in 2002, Ochoa pledged to provide financial support to a Mexican school for underprivileged children near Guadalajara. She then became involved in creating her own foundation with a mission to provide opportunities for children and adults via family-based health, education and inclusion programmes delivered through family golf activities.

Rolex has been a committed partner of women’s golf for more than 40 years as part of one of the most successful relationships between a brand and sport. This enduring partnership contributes to the game’s development around the world. The Swiss watchmaker is part of the very fabric of golf and supports the game at all levels, including elite players and legends of the game, Major championships – including all five women’s Majors – the foremost professional tours and the world’s leading team competitions, among them the women’s Solheim Cup. The brand’s support also extends to amateur tournaments, international federations and organizations representing golfers of all ages. 

Rolex’s association with 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 appreciation of the importance to invest in the sport’s development for future generations.

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 almost 60 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.

Rolex is deeply committed to the amateur game, and is a partner of important amateur tournaments across the globe, including the ground-breaking Augusta National Women’s Amateur launched in 2019, The British Amateur Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship, European Amateur Championship, Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, Latin America Amateur Championship and Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship. Rolex also supports the leading amateur team competitions, the Arnold Palmer Cup, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup, Junior Ryder Cup and World Amateur Team Championships. 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 Perpetual 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 600 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.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Delphine Clavel 
Rolex SA
delphine.clavel@rolex.com            
+41 (0)22 302 22 00

Merrick Haydon 
rEvolution 
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com  
+44 (0)7748 186 833 

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