Anticipation builds ahead of the second men’s Major of the season as historic Valhalla Golf Club hosts championship for fourth time

Anticipation builds ahead of the second men’s Major of the season as historic Valhalla Golf Club hosts championship for fourth time

Photos and text: Rolex©

Brooks Koepka (USA) lifts the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2023 PGA Championship

The PGA Championship is the only one of the four men’s Major championships contested exclusively by professionals. By bringing together the strongest field, it ensures the highest level of competition. Renowned for its innovation and fan-friendly atmosphere, the Championship inspires players to perpetually push back the limits of what they can achieve. This year’s event is the 106th edition and will take place from 16–19 May at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, a private golf club designed by Rolex Testimonee Jack Nicklaus that has hosted the PGA Championship on three previous occasions (1996, 2000, 2014).

Rolex has been Official Timekeeper and Official Partner of the PGA Championship since 2021 and the brand’s Testimonees have enjoyed regular success at this esteemed tournament. Gary Player (1962, 1972), Jack Nicklaus (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980), Tiger Woods (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007), Jason Day (2015), Collin Morikawa (2020), Justin Thomas (2017, 2022) and Brooks Koepka (2018, 2019, 2023) are among the champions whose names have been inscribed on the Wanamaker Trophy since the  inaugural edition in 1916. The trophy is named after American businessman Rodman Wanamaker, a pivotal figure in the formation of the PGA of America and the launch of its annual championship.

Brooks Koepka returns this year as defending champion, having last year emerged victorious at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, to claim his fifth Major crown and third PGA Championship title. The American previously won the tournament in 2018 and 2019, and in doing so, became the first player to successfully defend the PGA Championship since fellow Testimonee Tiger Woods in 2007.

Reflecting on last year’s triumph and handling the pressure associated with Major championships, Brooks Koepka said: ”I’m very grateful. I think winning my fifth Major title meant the most to me given everything that I had been through with injury and coming back from that. I also had my whole team there which was special. I really enjoy playing on the biggest stages such as the PGA Championship, when the spotlight is on and when things are difficult. Major championships really test who the best golfer is, who has ’it’ and who doesn’t. As they say in other sports, I am someone who wants the ball with a few seconds left on the clock. When I look back, I think success is defined by performances at Major championships. They are the one thing that set you apart in this game and to win as many of these tournaments as possible has always been my goal.”

The Championship is conducted by the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America. The Association is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of more than 30,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals who love the game, are expert coaches, operators and business leaders, and work daily to drive interest, inclusion and participation in the sport. The PGA of America owns and operates numerous championships and events, including Major championships for men, women, seniors and The Ryder Cup, one of the world’s foremost sporting events.

Winners of the PGA Championship are eligible to play in the Championship for life and are invited to play in the three other Major championships – the Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open and The Open for the next five years.

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 game began almost 60 years ago, in 1967, with Arnold Palmer, joined by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. 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 a commitment to continuous improvement and unwavering precision.

Since then, the affiliation between Rolex and golf has grown into one with a global reach and one that stands for quality, elegance, reliability and a pioneering spirit. The Swiss watchmaker is now part of the very fabric of the sport and its support permeates all levels, including elite players and legends of the game, Major championships, the foremost professional tours and the world’s leading team competitions.

Rolex’s support for golf is governed by underlying values of integrity and respect for tradition that ensure the continuity of expertise and knowledge, while understanding the importance of investing in the development of the sport for future generations. As such, the brand extends its support to amateur tournaments, international federations and organizations representing golfers of all ages.



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