Darren Clarke finished second in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award behind cyclist Mark Cavendish at the end of the glittering evening in Manchester.
Clarke,winner of the 2011 Open Champion at Royal St George's, was one of three European Tour Members among the ten nominations along with World, European and US PGA Tour Number One Luke Donald and US Open Champion Rory McIlroy – the first time three golfers have been among the nominations.
The top award, however, went to World road race champion and Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish. An "honoured" Cavendish becomes only the third cyclist to win after Tommy Simpson in 1965 and Sir Chris Hoy in 2008.
Cavendish said: "I am absolutely speechless. Just to be nominated was an incredible feeling."
In the night's other awards England's cricket team were named Team of the Year, with their coach Andy Flower winnning the Coach of the Year award.
World Number One tennis player Novak Djokovic, winner of three of the year's four Grand Slams, won the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, while teenage golfer Lauren Taylor scooped the Young Sports Personality award.
Athletics coaches Janice Eaglesham and Ian Mirfin won the BBC Sports Unsung Hero award.
Former rower Sir Steve Redgrave won the Lifetime Achievement award while Bob Champion was handed the Helen Rollason Award.
Cavendish won five stages of this year's Tour de France - including the final time trial in Paris - to clinch the green jersey awarded to the race's best sprinter for the first time.
The Manxman followed that success by confirming Britain's emergence as a major nation in road as well as track cycling by taking gold at the World Championships in Copenhagen in September.