Rising stars make their mark in the Rolex series of Golf

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As with many innovations, some European Tour pro's are warming up faster to the Rolex series than others.

But even as such, as Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia did not often participate in the eight events, the sophomore series has left a mark on identifying a line-up of talent that point is to join the top layer.

As proof, look no further than the five Ryder Cup rookies that Europe awe ago the prestigious 17.5-inch trophy have spared their American rivals.

The English profs Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren from Sweden, Jon Rahm from Spain and Thorbjorn Olesen from Denmark had a hand in nine of the 17½ points of Europeans in France. All five Rolex Series victories used to help secure their position in the team.

"They are quality golfers," said Thomas Bjorn, the European captain, during the festive aftermath. "They leave their mark on the world stage and there are a few in this team who are on their way to the top of the game in the coming years."

They also do not represent the only ones. Because this week's Turkish Airlines Open starts with the three-event homestretch for the Rolex series and the season as a whole – with the Nedbank Golf Challenge and the DP World Tour Championship still to come – the series has a remarkable balance see.

Since the concept made its debut during the BMW PGA Championship last year, the 13 Rolex Series events have been won by 11 different golfers.

Rahm and Noren are the only ones with multiple titles, and the five events this year are spread over five winners.

"They are top players in the world who are ready to win big events," Fleetwood told the reporters in the summer. "It feels that if you finish on Sunday, if you're in the race to win a Rolex Series event, it's a huge event to win, and you have to be ready."

Francesco Molinari won May's BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club, just outside of London, and went on to a banner. He was second at the Italian Open – another Rolex Series event – and took the speed in the United States to win the Quicken Loans National, with a British Open victory that made him Italy's first great champion.

Nor was he finished there. Molinari became the first European to go 5-0 at a Ryder Cup, together with Fleetwood to win all four paired matches and end the weekend with a victory for a single over Phil Mickelson.

"Winning always helps to bring confidence," Molinari said in early October. "To be honest, until Wentworth my season was nothing special, it was a bit disappointing because I could feel that my game had improved a lot."

Molinari also has a leading position in the Tour Race to Dubai season, with a margin of 1.36 million points – based on earned euros – in second place Fleetwood.

"With the year that he has," Fleetwood joked, "I think he could earn it."

Fleetwood conquered last year the race to the crown of Dubai, helped by his victory in the Rolex series at the Open de France. Rahm finished third in points, with two Rolex victories that almost made the 11 less European tournaments he played than Fleetwood.

"If you play well, you can benefit from the end of the year" Rahm said.

Fleetwood, Hatton and Olesen are all in their twenties; Rahm will be 24 this month.

"A number of good young boys are coming through," said Matthew Fitzpatrick, 24, who has five top 12 rounds in Rolex Series events. "I think it will take the tour for a number of exciting years."

It is the kind of impact that is envisaged in the creation of the Rolex series, with each tournament raising the prize fund to at least $ 7 million. Larger wallets provide better line-ups, and the money has a greater impact on the points race.

"You can win two smaller ones and still stand behind someone who wins one Rolex series," Thomas Pieters from Belgium said. "I think it should be because you get the best fields in the Rolex series."

The series also got a lofty role in Ryder Cup qualification, with events taking place the same week as the Rolex Series stops excluded from the points process to determine eight automatic qualifiers.

All five of Bjorn & # 39; s rookies boarded via one of the two used lists – a European Tour point list and a measurable world rankings.

"More events, more money, more points in the world ranking, bigger players – it's always good for the tour", said the English veteran Ian Poulter.

However, the level of interest does not necessarily reach the old guard. Rose's title defense in Turkey is only his sixth start of the Rolex series since it began. McIlroy has done it in just four events, and Garcia and Henrik Stenson in three each.

Compare that with the new guard core of Fleetwood, Molinari, Norwegians, Rahm, Hatton, Olesen and Fitzpatrick. That group has an average of 9.7 Rolex Series starts at this point. Fitzpatrick has turned up Hatton in 12 in all 13 events.

Keith Pelley, the CEO of the European Tour, does not seem to be bothered by the inequality. He acknowledges that it is unrealistic to expect such ultra-elites to have McIlroy and Rose rearrange the schemes that have been successful for them.

"What we did," said Pelley early this season, "is a great option for the top players, and they have embraced it.

" In all I think they have more choice than ever before. "

He also noticed the trickle-down effect: the 100th player on Last year's money list, Pelle Edberg, spent about $ 135,000 more than last year's number 100, Lasse Jensen

Also sometimes new concepts need time to maintain their position Ten years ago, PGA Tour players were pretty cool for the FedExCup points race, even with a $ 10 million bonus pending the winner the finish.

But with McIlroy, Stenson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and now Rose took over the FedExCup award in recent years, which season title has been strengthened.

While Fleetwood, Hatton, Fitzpatrick and Olesen – and other emerging Europeans their pr oriel on the world stage, the Rolex series could experience a similar impulse.

"They put that prestige on them," said Fleetwood. "They get the fields that I think we're looking for now, you win one of these Rolex Series events and it opens up all kinds of roads."

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