The European Challenge Tour has announced that luxury watch brand Rolex has become the title sponsor of the Challenge Tour Grand Final, while The R&A will become a supporting partner of the season-finale.
The Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A, which will take place at T-Golf & Country Club in Mallorca, from November 4-7, 2021, will bring the 2021 Road to Mallorca Rankings to a close, with an increase in prize fund from €420,000 to €450,000. The top 20 players will earn European Tour playing privileges for the following year.
Rolex’s affiliation with the Challenge Tour dates back over 30 years and by taking on the title sponsorship,,the company is enhancing its ongoing support of the sport’s future stars.
Having been at the heart of the game for over 50 years, Rolex provides support for both up-and-coming and world-class players, the main professional Tours and bodies, as well as the finest events on the golf calendar.
The Rolex Series, the premium category of events on the European Tour’s International Schedule with a minimum prize fund of US$8 million, was launched in 2017 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Rolex’s enduring partnership with the European Tour. It gives a clear pathway for emerging talent from amateur, through the Challenge Tour, to competing against the very best in the world.
Rolex also recently became a Worldwide Partner of the Ryder Cup, golf’s greatest team contest, and aligns with the PGA of America as Official Timekeeper, a role it has enjoyed with Team Europe since 1995.
Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Rolex for the support they have given to the Challenge Tour over the last 30 years, they have been a true partner to our Tour throughout this time and we are very excited to work with them on this next chapter.
“Both Rolex and The R&A have shown an incredible commitment to the Challenge Tour during the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season, Rolex repurposed the tournament prize fund from the cancelled Rolex Trophy to benefit the wider Challenge Tour schedule and its members, while on top of its annual grant, The R&A provided additional funding through its COVID-19 Support Fund, a £7million package to help golf deal with the impact of the global pandemic. We are delighted both have further reaffirmed their much-valued support with today’s announcement.
“The Challenge Tour Grand Final is the pinnacle of the Road to Mallorca season and for Rolex to become Title Sponsor of the event only increases its prestige and profile within the world of golf and highlights their dedication to the Challenge Tour. Meanwhile, The R&A’s involvement as Supporting Partner continues their commitment to developing future generations on their journey from the amateur game to the top level, as well as the promotion and progression of the sport in emerging golfing nations.”
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer of The R&A, said: “We are committed to supporting the European Challenge Tour and are proud to extend this support to the Grand Final and the culmination of the Road to Mallorca season. This is a hugely important occasion in the European golfing calendar and another key milestone on the pathway for emerging professional golfers.
“Our goal is to do as much as we can to strengthen the rungs of the golfing ladder from grassroots through to elite amateurs then on to the professional tours. We want to provide the opportunities for players to emerge, develop and flourish at the highest levels of the game and inspire future generations.”
Rolex’s long-term commitment to the Challenge Tour began with the Rolex Trophy which has been part of the Challenge Tour’s schedule since the inaugural season in 1989, however the support will now be concentrated on the Grand Final, the Challenge Tour’s season-ending showpiece, and on support of a replacement event in August this year, as part of their commitment to the next generation of stars.