19 Jun 19, Sofia
This was the sixth time that Pebble Beach has hosted the event, highlighting the championship pedigree of this revered course which celebrates its centenary year in 2019. This year also marks the 40th edition of the tournament that Rolex is presiding over as Official Timekeeper, a position it has held since 1980. The enduring relationship between the brand and golf dates back in the 1960s, when Rolex partnered with Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, affectionately known as The Big Three, who played a key role in modernizing this ancient sport. Since then, Rolex has become intimately linked with golf, extending its support to every level of the game, from its elite players, to men and women’s Major championships and the foremost professional tours around the globe.
This year golf fans were impatient to see the performance of one of Rolex Testimonees, Brooks Koepka who arrived in with the opportunity to continue his sequence of historic victories.
In winning the 2019 PGA Championship in May, Koepka reclaimed the World No. 1 ranking and became the first golfer to successfully defend two Major titles. At Pebble Beach he could have become only the second golfer to win the U.S. Open title three years in a row, a feat not repeated since Scotland’s Willie Anderson won in 1903, 1904 and 1905. Koepka remained second but he made history again. When asked whether he was thinking about it during the game, he said: "I did when it was over," Koepka told Fox Sports' Joel Klatt. "I thought, 'Wow, I was just that close to accomplishing something that hasn't been done in what, 110 years?' That's special."
Besides veteran players such as Koepka, Woods and Mickelson, Rolex also supports a new generation of golfers at the forefront of the game, the Rolex New Guard. The maturity with which these golfers play the game belies their young years, and every one possesses the skill and ambition necessary to compete with any golfer, at any tournament. Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama are demonstrating impressive results in the last years.
Preceding the 119th U.S. Open the Induction Ceremony for the World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2019 was held. Rolex is a partner of the World Golf Hall of Fame and among those being honoured this year is one of South Africa’s greatest ever golfers, Rolex Testimonee Retief Goosen. In his prime, Goosen was ranked in the world top 10 for more than 250 weeks from 2001 to 2007 and his 33 worldwide wins include two U.S. Open titles. Golf is has been sport for aristocracy for a long time and this is why the longstanding relationship with Rolex is more than natural. Traditions, passing through generations, history, precision and attention to detail are interlinked in exceptional symbiosis that has been pleasing fans and public for decades.