Rolex has been a club house favourite for golfers for over half a century, and has formally aligned itself with the biggest professionals and leading tournaments, including all four Majors, for decades.
Rolex first partnered with the Ryder Cup in 1995 as Official Timekeeper of Team Europe.
The brand has since become a Worldwide Partner at all editions of the event in both Europe and the United States.
The Europeans always win, from the perspective of watch branding, with Switzerland’s Omega, Audemars Piguet, TAG Heuer and Patek Philippe all having skin in the game through participating ambassadors.
And Europe also won on home soil over last weekend with a relatively comfortable 16½–11½ victory in Rome.
With every major tour professional paid to wear prestige watches, we also wondered whether any brand had an edge when it comes to picking winners.
Pre-owned specialist Watchfinder was having the same thought, and helpfully did the research into which watches are being worn by the leading point scorers in this year’s Ryder Cup.
Not surprisingly, Rolex-wearers won the most points thanks to 13 of the 24 competing golfers wearing its watches, but it was Omega’s partnership with Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy that topped the point scorers’ league table with 4 points from his five matches for the Europeans.
For the cameras, he clipped into a dressy Omega DeVille Tourbillon Co-Axial Chronometer.
“On behalf of everyone at Watchfinder I would like to personally congratulate Rory for the show he put on for golf fans around the world this weekend. Not just his golfing performance, but also his impeccable taste in timepieces, which has earned his Omega the title of the Ryder Cup’s top performing watch,” says Arjen van de Vall, CEO of Watchfinder & Co.
Audemars Piguet ambassadors grabbed the next two spots in the leading scorers’ table thanks to its association with Norwegian Viktor Hovland, who wears an AP Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar White Ceramic, earning 3½ points.
England’s Tyrrell Hatton also scored 3½ points before sliding on an Audemars Piguet 11.59 Chronograph with blue guilloche dial.
Rolex may have missed out on the leading three players but its Datejust was the most popular collection at the event, worn by Sam Burns, Bax Homa, Wyndham Clark, Rickie Fowler and Matt Fitzpatrick.
A fact for future pub quizzes: the player who spent the most time in the sand at this year’s Ryder Cup was Justin Rose, who found ten bunkers over the three days.
His choice of wristwear? a platinum Rolex Day-Date 40.
Americans have typically seemed more comfortable wearing pricey timepieces, but the European team actually out-gunned them when it came to the cost of their tickers.
Watchfinder experts estimate that the total retail value of the European team’s watches would be approximately $398,206 ($33,183 per golfer) while the American team’s would be $143,700 (a mere $11,975 per golfer).
Leading Ryder Cup points scorers and their watches
1. Omega DeVille Tourbillon CO-AXIAL Chronometer Numbered Edition – 4 points worn by Rory McIlroy
=2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar White Ceramic – 3.5 points worn by Viktor Hovland
=2. Audemars Piguet 11.59 Chronograph – Blue Guilloche Dial – 3.5 points worn by Tyrrell Hatton
=2. Rolex Datejust – 3.5 points worn by Max Homa
=5. Rolex Blue SkyDweller Stainless Steel – 3 points secured by Jon Rahm
=5. Tag Heuer Connected Golf – 3 points secured by Tommy Fleetwood
7. Bi-Colour Rolex Explorer – 2 points secured by Ludvig Aberg
=8. Rolex Oyster Perpetual DateJust – 1.5 points secured by Wyndham Clark
=8. Rolex Day-Date 40 Platinum 228236 Meteorite Baguette – 1.5 points secured by Justin Rose
=8. Rolex SkyDweller – 1.5 points secured by Justin Thomas
=8. Rolex Daytona 116500LN – 1.5 points secured by Brooks Koepka
=8. Patek Phillipe Nautilus – 1.5 points secured by Shane Lowry