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Will Rolex’s ‘New Guard’ of ambassadors Joaquin Niemann, Matthew Wolff and Cameron Champ measure up to the luxury watch brand’s celebrated list of current and past champions – and which Rolex watches do they wear?
The enduring relationship between Rolex and professional golfers began in 1967 when Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player became official partners. ‘The Big Three’ won 34 majors between them and Rolex’s knack of choosing major winners as partners continued with Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and more recently with Adam Scott and Brooks Koepka.
Jon Rahm and Hideki Matsuyama are also ambassadors, and though yet to win majors they have already made it to number one and two in the world rankings respectively. Fellow Rolex players Jordan Spieth has won three majors, Justin Thomas one, and though Rickie Fowler is yet to win one, he has finished second at the Masters, US Open and The Open and third at the PGA.
Rolex says these star names have now “passed the torch on to a new and exciting group of young, up-and-coming players whom they have inspired.” The brand’s website adds: “In their fledgling careers, these young Rolex Testimonees have already displayed the qualities needed to challenge for major honours.” Rolex’s ‘New Guard’, as the brand calls them, are Joaquin Niemann, Matthew Wolff and Cameron Champ.
22-year-old Niemann had a brilliant amateur career and topped the world rankings for 44 weeks. In 2019, in his first season on the PGA Tour, he had four top-10 finishes, including his first win at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier tournament, where he became the first player from Chile to win on the tour. He has started the 2021 season strongly by finishing second at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and T2 at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
After winning The Greenbrier, Niemann lifted the trophy wearing a Rolex GMT-Master II “Batman” in stainless steel which was released in 2013.
21-year-old American Wolff made a meteoric start to his PGA Tour career winning the 3M Open in only his fourth event in 2019. In August 2020, he finished in a tie for fourth place at the PGA Championship, his first major championship appearance, and six weeks later he led the US Open at Winged Foot by two strokes heading into the final day and eventually finished second. His impressive form last season took him into the top 15 of the world rankings.
During a charity match in 2020, Wolff was wearing a Rolex Sea-Dweller DeepSea. This watch was first launched in 1967 and updated in 2008.
25-year-old American Champ, one of the longest hitters in golf, won the 2018 Utah Championship on the Web.com Tour (currently called Korn Ferry Tour) which earned him his tour card for the 2018-19 PGA Tour season. He made the most of his new status by winning his first PGA Tour title at the Sanderson Farms Championship, and then by clinching the Safeway Open a year later in 2019.
At the Safeway Open, Champ was wearing a Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi”. This watch was unveiled in 2018.
All the signs are there for these three young guns to start winning majors in the near future, maintaining Rolex’s winning tradition.