If Rolex ever considered dropping golfing great Tiger Woods from its roster of testimonees, it never voiced it out loud.
And now that long term vision, for which Rolex is lauded, has paid off with the American legend bagging his 15th major title at the weekend as he won The Masters by one stroke.
Mr Woods was one of the world’s greatest superstars back in 2009, held in the same esteem as fellow Rolex testimonee Roger Federer. Both were among the world’s wealthiest professional sportspeople thanks to their success, focus and ability to reach billions of households with little interest in golf or tennis.
But the life and career of Mr Woods was already starting to unravell when he crashed his car into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his Florida home in 2009.
Investigations by the press that followed unearthed extramarital affairs that led to the golfer booking into a clinic to deal with some sort of sex addiction. His wife Elin Nordegren divorced him soon afterwards.
In 2017 he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after being discovered asleep in his car on the side of the road after taking medication to ease the symptoms of his back injury.
Several sponsors that have turned their back on Tiger Woods in the past decade will now be ruing that decision.
Rolex has stuck with the star for 20 years, and last night was rewarded as he made an historic return to the Major-winners circle with a momentous victory at Augusta National Golf Club in the 83rd Masters Tournament.
“Demonstrating the spirit of perpetual excellence, championed by Rolex, Woods began to show the extent of his extraordinary return to elite golf first in 2018, coming close to victory in two Majors before winning the Tour Championship. Now, 11 years since his last Major victory, and on the famed fairways of Augusta National where the Californian has won four times previously, the legendary golfer has been rewarded for his exceptional perseverance,” Rolex says in a statement following the win.
Having strapped on a Rolex Submariner to collect The Masters trophy and winners’ green jacket, Mr Woods said: “It’s overwhelming. To now be the champion 22 years between wins is a long time. It’s unreal for me to experience this. My mom was here, and she was there in 1997 as well and so I just couldn’t be more happy and more excited. It’s one of the hardest I’ve ever had to win, just because of what has transpired over the last couple of years of trying to come back and play. I was close last year a couple of times with the chance in the last two Major championships – I applied what I learnt from those two and was able to seal the deal today.”