Golf – a sport sometimes undervalued by UK broadsheet editors – enjoys the best seat at the high table of this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year award (today, Thursday, 22nd December, 8.00pm, BBC1), writes Ben Evans, editor of ‘Golf Business Development’ magazine.
And your telephone vote could make the winning difference for either Luke, Darren or Rory and put golf in top spot tonight.
Without a footy player in sight, the noble game has a great chance to produce the winner, and there is no doubt Darren Clarke, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy all have the X-Factor to add another title to round off their great years.
The last golfer to win the ‘SPOTY’ title was Sir Nick Faldo in 1989. Before that, you have to go back to 1953, when Dai Rees won the title.
The British viewing public can be famously fickle when choosing a leader, and while there will be bags of support and recognition for the talent and strength of character shown by these very different golfers, it would be no surprise if the ‘golf vote’ was split between the three – our prediction is for cyclist Mark Cavendish to burst through the pack in typical style and grab the honours.
Ten of the UK’s top sports stars have been nominated for the 58th BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
The winner will be selected by public vote by telephone during the live show, on a number provided during the show.
The shortlist (in alphabetical order) is: Mark Cavendish (cycling), Darren Clarke (golf), Alastair Cook (cricket), Luke Donald (golf), Mo Farah (athletics), Dai Greene (athletics), Amir Khan (boxing), Rory McIlroy (golf), Andy Murray (tennis), Andrew Strauss (cricket). See BBC Sports Personality of the Year preview