The European Tour created the Rolex Series in 2017, with the hopes of creating a series of events throughout the year its top-name and top-ranked players would play over the PGA Tour because the purses would be competitive with what’s on offer each week in the United States.
European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley created the Rolex Series, which is a group of eight events throughout the season, all having a purse of $7 million or more. Important to this level of distinction is not only the purse but that the purse is quoted in American dollars, meaning players from the PGA Tour can also easily understand the eye-catching purses.
The Rolex Series ostensibly replaces the Finals Series, which was the European Tour’s effort to cap off their Race to Dubai points campaign with a FedEx Cup-like playoff series. The three events which were in the Finals Series when it ended — the Turkish Airlines Open, the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai — have been integrated into the Rolex Series, with their field sizes intact and purses standing out above the other events in the series.
Most of the Rolex Series events are national opens, with the Italian, French, Irish and Scottish Open part of it. The flagship BMW PGA Championship in England is also in the Rolex Series.
European Tour Rolex Series tournaments and purses
- BMW PGA Championship, $7 million
- Italian Open, $7 million
- HNA French Open, $7 million
- Irish Open, $7 million
- Scottish Open, $7 million
- Turkish Airlines Open, $7 million
- Nedbank Golf Challenge, $7.5 million
- DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, $8 million