May 24th, 2017
Big week for the European Tour
As the new Rolex Series kicks off at Wentworth
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
It’s a big week for the European Tour as the new Rolex Series kicks off at Wentworth tomorrow.
The new Rolex Series has been described as “one of the most significant advancements in the Tour’s 45 years." The Rolex Series will feature eight tournaments in iconic golfing locations throughout the world, including Italy, South Africa and Turkey, each with a minimum prize fund of US$7 million, and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai featuring a prize fund of US$8 million. This will give the players a great opportunity to earn rankings points.
The beginning of the Rolex Series coincides with the 20th anniversary of Rolex’s partnership with the European Tour, becoming the Official Timekeeper in 1997. As part of a multi–year commitment there are also plans to increase the number of tournaments.
Rolex Director of Communication & Image, Arnaud Boetsch, said: “For 50 years, Rolex has been intimately linked to the world of golf, and the Rolex Series represents an ambitious commitment to continue our unwavering support of the game, and of the European Tour.
“It is fitting that this exciting new initiative should begin at the European Tour’s home at Wentworth Club, at an event where the Rolex family of golf Testimonees have celebrated 11 victories to date.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “Rolex has, for a very long time now, been at the forefront of our sport and is a valued partner of the European Tour. Twenty years in and it is exciting to see our partnership strengthened even further by the development of the Rolex Series.
“By taking this innovative new concept to our most prestigious tournaments around the globe, we are raising the bar in professional golf and at the BMW PGA Championship we look forward to welcoming the world’s best players to this new premium tournament category.”
There have been issues with the West Course at Wentworth over the past few years, but Keith Pelley's assertion that it is “significantly improved” is fair. “It’s amazing what has transpired in just a year when you think back about the challenges that we were having; mainly around the golf course and players not satisfied with the greens,” the chief executive added.“We had seen conversations and pretty serious conversations with [Wentworth’s owner] Reignwood at that particular time, and conversations with BMW, who were concerned for many years whether we would be able to continue with the BMW PGA Championship here at Wentworth if, in fact, we didn’t make significant improvements to the golf course.”
The early feedback that we are hearing is all positive, especially regarding the greens.