Three golfers have been announced among the ten nominees for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, with Darren Clarke, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy recognised for their achievements during a stunning year for European and British golf.
Clarke received his nomination after his extraordinary performance at The Open Championship at Royal St George’s, where his three shot victory over Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson made him the oldest Open Champion since Roberto De Vicenzo in 1967.
It is the second time he has been nominated for the award, the first time coming in 2006 after he played a starring role for the European team in The Ryder Cup at The K Club just six weeks after losing his wife Heather to cancer.
Donald has been nominated after a year in which he blitzed world golf with his unerring consistency, winning four times – including the flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth - on the way to establishing himself as World Number One.
He currently leads The Race to Dubai by €1,026,130 and, having topped the US PGA Tour already, is bidding to become the first player in history to top the US and European money lists.
McIlroy’s nomination came as a result of his ground-breaking performance in winning his first Major at US Open Championship at Congressional CC, where he broke numerous records on the way to an eight stroke victory over Jason Day.
Donald reacted to the news on Twitter by saying: “Feeling honoured to be nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the year award with so many sporting legends!
“Good to see 3 golfers nominated for @BBCSPOTY this year. Good luck @McIlroyRory & @DarrenClarke60. #Britishgolfisstrong,” he continued.
McIlroy echoed his sentiments, saying: “Delighted and honoured to be nominated for @BBCSPOTY. It's been an incredible year for me and to be nominated is a big achievement in itself.”
Clarke, Donald and McIlroy were named alongside Mark Cavendish (cycling), Alastair Cook (cricket), Mo Farah (athletics), Dai Greene (athletics), Amir Khan (boxing),Andy Murray (tennis) and Andrew Strauss (cricket).
The winner will be selected by public vote during the live show on Thursday, 22 December from 10:00pm.