Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Biting Back: Rory McIlroy's favourite for BBC Sports Personality

By Stuart McKinley

Published 23/07/2014

Rory clutching the famous Claret Jug at Hoylake on Sunday
Rory clutching the famous Claret Jug at Hoylake on Sunday

We may be five months away from seeing the prize handed over, but already Rory McIlroy's Open Championship triumph has seen him placed as favourite for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

And after such a remarkable triumph, why would he not be?

A sure-fire bet, you would think – and a much quicker return on your money than Rory and his dad got on young McIlroy's success at Royal Liverpool.

Before you rush down to the bookies though, take a look at the history books, for they show that only one golfer has won the award in over 50 years.

Before you start trying to guess who it was, I'll tell you; Nick Faldo in 1989, after he won the Masters. A year later he retained the Masters and also won the Open for the second time – but the Sports Personality of 1990 was Paul Gascoigne.

Amazingly when you look at the betting for this year, Jonny Wilkinson is third favourite – giving it to him would be tantamount to a retirement gift for England's 2003 World Cup hero.

Rory is popular and, given that it's a public vote, he's got a chance, but I wouldn't bet on it.

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