THE AMUNDI EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2021 RETURNS WITH ROLEX AS OFFICIAL TIMEKEEPER
Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday 20 July 2021 – The world’s best women golfers will gather in the spectacular surroundings of Évian-les-Bains from 22–25 July to contest The Amundi Evian Championship, the only Major played in continental Europe. Rolex, a partner of the event for more than 20 years, will once again be present as Official Timekeeper.
At the Evian Resort Golf Club in France, nestled between the shores of Lake Leman and the majestic Alps, the finest talents from across the globe will test their mettle on this beautiful yet challenging course, showcasing their outstanding skills and renewing the essence of an ever-evolving discipline while helping to enrich the game’s most revered traditions.
Rolex’s presence at the Championship is part of an extensive commitment to golf. For more than 50 years it has nurtured one of the most enduring partnerships between a brand and sport. It has become part of the fabric of the sport at every level, forming close ties with the noblest institutions who govern the game worldwide, legendary tournaments and the greatest players.
The association with this tournament also reflects Rolex’s pioneering role in the women’s game. A partner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA) since 1980, the Swiss watchmaker continues to support the leading competitors, amateur events and professional tours, and is the Official Timekeeper at all five women’s Majors.
This groundbreaking support was further highlighted in 2019 when Rolex awarded to its Testimonee Lorena Ochoa the inaugural Prize for a Better Tomorrow, recognizing initiatives linked to women’s golf that have a positive societal impact and champion excellence, generosity, continuity and inspiration. Ochoa, a former World No. 1 and two-time Major winner, was honoured for her work with underprivileged children in her native Mexico. The 2021 recipient will be announced at a ceremony during this year’s tournament.
RETURNING CHAMPIONS Among the past champions returning to play at The Amundi Evian Championship is Rolex Testimonee Lydia Ko. In 2015, aged just 18, the Korean-born New Zealander won by six strokes, making her the youngest woman to win a Major championship. Ko clinched that victory with the then lowest closing round in a women’s Major; earlier this year, she lowered that mark from 63 to 62 when finishing runner-up at the ANA Inspiration.
Speaking ahead of this week’s competition, Lydia Ko said:
“I have many fond memories at The Amundi Evian Championship, dating back to my amateur days and then in 2015, when I won my first Major. I love everything about the Evian Resort Golf Club, from the stunning backdrop over Lake Leman to the condition of the course. I can’t wait to return and compete against some of the best players in the world.”
Joining Ko as a previous winner is Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, whose playoff victory in 2017 secured her second Major triumph, putting her in distinguished company alongside fellow Rolex Testimonee and compatriot Annika Sörenstam as a multiple winner of golf’s biggest prizes.
THE ROLEX NEW GUARD Taking inspiration from their fellow Testimonees’ success is the Rolex New Guard, a group of talented young golfers playing with skill, integrity and respect for the game’s traditions.
In search of a first Major victory, Mexico’s Maria Fassi is one of the most exciting prospects in the women’s game. The 23-year-old, who turned professional in 2019, already has one tournament victory to her name and will be looking to forge her own legacy at this year’s event, while inspiring the next generation of players to follow in her footsteps.
She will be joined by fellow young Testimonee, Swiss No. 1 Albane Valenzuela. Runner-up at the 2017 and 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur, she earned low amateur honours at the 2019 edition of The Amundi Evian Championship.
Meanwhile, a former member of the Rolex New Guard, Canada’s Brooke Henderson, who boasts multiple wins on the LGPA Tour and is currently ranked in the top 10 of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, will have the opportunity to add to her Major tally.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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ROLEX TESTIMONEE WINNERS OF THE AMUNDI EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP Annika Sörenstam (2000, 2002)* Lydia Ko (2015) Anna Nordqvist (2017) *Then known as The Evian Masters
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.
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 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.