Geneva, Switzerland, 25 August 2021 – The Solheim Cup returns to the United States next week when Inverness Club in Toledo hosts the 17th edition of the premier team event in women’s golf.
The best golfers from Europe and their US counterparts will assemble at the century-old course in Ohio from 31 August, their practice sessions launching a week of festivities that culminates in three days of intensive match-play competition from 4–6 September to decide the destination of the trophy.
First staged in 1990, the Solheim Cup follows the same format as The Ryder Cup in the men’s game, comprising a series of foursome, fourball and singles matches that showcase player power, precision and consistency, qualities that Rolex shares in its own pursuit of perpetual excellence.
At this biennial transatlantic competition, which the brand has supported for more than 25 years, the role of the non-playing captains is central. They are crucial to creating the chemistry, the team spirit that enables individual excellence to be channelled towards the greater achievement of the group.
USA has won the Solheim Cup on 10 occasions, Europe six, but it is the latter who enters this year’s event as defending champion after clinching a thrilling victory at Gleneagles in 2019 with the last putt on the 18th green. Indeed, the event has produced some of the most memorable moments in women’s golf, adding its own special layer to the rich history and traditions of the ancient game.
For more than 50 years Rolex has supported golf at every level, including its noblest institutions, greatest tournaments and finest players. The long-standing involvement with the Solheim Cup highlights the brand’s strong commitment to the women’s game, an association that has grown and flourished since 1980 when the brand forged a seminal partnership with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). The Swiss watchmaker is the Official Timekeeper at all five women’s Majors and founder of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking.
PATHWAY TO SUCCESS Adding to the excitement, the top 12 junior female golfers from both the United States and Europe will compete for the PING Junior Solheim Cup (PJSC) at the nearby Sylvania Country Club from 1–2 September. Contested in a similar matchplay format, the event was established in 2002 with a vision to create a pathway for future champions to fulfil their dream of playing at the elite level.
The PJSC has showcased some of amateur golf’s brightest talents, with many going on to play in the Solheim Cup, including Rolex Testimonees and Major-winning pair Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and American Lexi Thompson, who first appeared at the junior event in 2005 and 2009 respectively. They have since taken part in a combined 11 Solheim Cups and will be looking to drive their respective teams’ latest challenge for one of the most highly coveted trophies in women’s professional golf, with Nordqvist entering the week on top form following recent victory at the AIG Women’s Open.
Leading the Europeans at this year’s PJSC is another member of the Rolex family, Annika Sörenstam. The Swede is regarded as one of the greatest golfers in history, having won 10 Majors during her glittering career and represented Europe in the Solheim Cup on eight occasions. She will look to use all her experience, which includes captaining the 2017 Solheim Cup team, to lead the continent’s elite juniors to their first victory since 2007.
ROLEX TESTIMONEE SOLHEIM CUP WINNERS Carin Koch (2000, 2003) Nancy Lopez (1990) Anna Nordqvist (2011, 2013, 2019) Annika Sörenstam (2000, 2003) Lexi Thompson (2015, 2017)
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.