Rolex is also proud to support many of the world’s best female golfers in the world. All three women in the New Guard are incredibly young yet have experienced success beyond their years.
Nobody has achieved more at such a young age than the supremely-talented New Zealander Lydia Ko. At just 20 years old, Ko holds 12 LPGA Tour wins, as well as two Major titles. Having spent a record 130 weeks as the top-ranking amateur, Ko went on to become the youngest player of either gender to achieve number one status in the Rolex Rankings as a professional. She then became the youngest woman to win a Major championship in 2015 at The Evian Championship, where Rolex is the Official Timekeeper and made history by becoming the youngest golfer to win two Major championships in a row with victory at the ANA Inspiration in 2016. Ko, like the great Annika Sörenstam, plays with accuracy and elegance found only in the very best.
Another rising star is American Lexi Thompson. At just 12 years of age, Thompson became the youngest golfer ever to qualify to play in the U.S. Women’s Open before turning professional in 2015. Her incredible level of performance saw her set a record as the youngest-ever winner of an LPGA tournament, aged just 16. Three years later, she obtained one of the pinnacle achievements in the sport by winning the ANA inspiration at age 19 and, with two LPGA Tour victories in 2017, continues to contest for top honours in the ladies’ game.
Born in September 1977, the youngest of the Rolex New Guard, Ontario-born Brooke Henderson continues to make waves in the golfing world. Having turned professional in 2014, the Canadian won her first Major at the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the event’s youngest winner at 18. Respect and camaraderie, as well as a desire to win were evident before Henderson’s dramatic playoff win over Ko at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2016 after which the Canadian stated: “Lydia Ko is definitely a role model for me, and being able to become friends with her on tour and see her week to week is really cool, even if I know that she is the competition.”
The achievements and accolades of the New Guard are a shining example to young golfers of what can be achieved in the unrelenting pursuit of individual excellence. Every member displays the integrity, respect and sportsmanlike behaviour that is so crucial in inspiring the next generation of true ambassadors of the game.