Golf’s European Tour has announced the launch of the Rolex Series, a new alliance of the tour's leading events.
The Rolex Series begins in 2017 and will feature a minimum of seven tournaments through the calendar, bringing them together under the single banner of the watchmaker's title sponsorship. All competitions in the series will offer a minimum prize fund of US$7 million.
The Rolex Series will begin in May with the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, followed by two further UK-based tournaments in July with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Portstewart, and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald.
The final four currently confirmed tournaments are the Italian Open at the Olgiata Golf Club in Rome in October, and the Turkish Airlines Open at Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort, the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in South Africa, and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates, all three of which take place in November. More events may be added to the series for 2017, with plans underway to confirm further tournaments for future seasons.
The announcement expands the historic connection between the luxury Swiss brand and the European Tour. Rolex has been the tour's official timekeeper since 1997, with the first season of the Rolex Series marking their 20-year anniversary of collaboration.
“We are delighted to unveil the Rolex Series today and we are committed to developing and building on it over the coming years," said Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour.
“The Rolex Series will celebrate the highest quality of golf and the international spirit of the game; values that Rolex and the European Tour strengthen with this announcement. We are tremendously proud to have Rolex as our partner in this exciting new venture and we thank them for their continued support.”