Europe’s magnificent 2012 Ryder Cup victory was recognised at the Sports Journalists’ Association British Sports Awards on Thursday, where Captain José María Olazábal and his men were named the Sports Team of the Year.
The European Ryder Cup Team staged an incredible comeback in Chicago in September, now known as the ‘Miracle of Medinah, overturning a 10-6 scoreline on the final day to beat the USA by the narrowest of margins after a spirited performance in the Singles matches.
At a celebration of Britain’s greatest sporting year in history, the European Team were runaway winners of the award, ahead of Olympic Rowers Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger and third-placed Chelsea, the 2012 Champions League winners.
It is the sixth time Europe’s golfers have won the SJA Team of the Year award, and the fourth time in the last ten years.
George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, collected the award at the Tower of London venue on behalf of the Ryder Cup Team.
He said: "This has been an incredible 12 months for sport, unquestionably highlighted by the staging in London of an inspirational Olympic Games, and for Europe's Ryder Cup Team to win this award in such a magical year is very special.
“I would like to thank all the members of the SJA for this award on behalf of José María Olazábal - who this week has been involved in a major junior initiative in Spain with Miguel Angel Jiménez - and his team and to say how much we appreciate your words and support which inspire and enrich everyone involved in the world of golf and sport."
The SJA awards were first staged in 1949 and are the country’s longest-running sports awards. They are voted by a membership of more than 750, made up of sports writers, broadcasters, photographers and editors.
Sir Michael Parkinson is the President of the SJA and presented O’Grady with the European Team’s award.
2012 SJA Roll of Honour
Sportsman of the Year: Bradley Wiggins (Cycling)
Sportswoman of the Year: Jessica Ennis (Athletics)
Sports Team of the Year: Europe Ryder Cup (Golf)
Paralympic sport (men): David Weir (Wheelchair Athletics)
Paralympic sport (women): Sarah Storey (Cycling)
Best International Newcomer: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Football)
Outstanding Performance: Jessica Ennis (Athletics)
Outstanding Contribution to Sport: Lord Coe
Spirit of Sport: Jonnie Peacock (Paralympian)
President’s Award: Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins (Rowing)
Chairman’s Award: Jonny Marray (Tennis)