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Rory McIlroy sports personality of the year

Rory McIlroy ‘forgot he was nominated’ for Sports Personality of the Year

Rory McIlroy had few complimentary words for the Sports Personality of the Year Award ceremony which he didn’t attend despite being nominated…

 

Rory McIlroy has labelled Sports Personality of the Year a “popularity contest” and says he forgot about his nomination.

The Northern Irishman didn’t attend the award ceremony where he was a candidate with Mary Earps, Stuart Broad, Frankie Dettori, Alfie Hewett and Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

The four-time major champion didn’t win during the evening regularly shown by the BBC and he believes the event doesn’t have the same sparkle as previous years.

“I forgot I was nominated,” he said at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

“So that’s how much I think about it. It’s not – it’s a popularity contest, and I think it’s just not really – it’s not what it once was.”

McIlroy wasn’t even sure he’d have attended had he completed the career grand slam at the Masters last year – the height of achievement in the game.

“I don’t know. That’s a hypothetical. Depends what my chance were of winning it, I guess,” he added.

Golf and the Sports Personality Award haven’t walked hand in hand for what feels like a generation. Sir Nick Faldo was the last figure from the sport to win in 1989.

Several fans were disappointed to see Matt Fitzpatrick left from the shortlist in 2022 when he won the US Open.

Criticism is often directed towards golf’s lack of screen time during the ceremony itself, which is arguably indicative of the BBC’s approach to golf in recent years.

Last year, the BBC turned down the opportunity to show PGA Tour highlights for free and didn’t show any highlights from the Masters at Augusta National.

The channel no longer shows The Open Championship which many fans will look back on with fond memories of listening to iconic commentators such as Peter Alliss.

“Just buy Sky Sports,” McIlroy said when quizzed on golf’s broadcast situation.

“I think legacy media is not what it once was. Terrestrial TV, print media, no offence, but we are transitioning into a different world.

“They want things on their phone. They want things on their iPads. It’s just different. The consumer now compared to the consumer 20 years ago is just very, very different.”

Rory McIlroy sports personality of the year

Highlights from the Rory McIlroy Dubai Desert Classic press conference

McIlroy reiterated his desire for a global tour when speaking ahead of the event he has already won three times in his career.

Last week, he described a world tour as his “dream scenario” which could include up to 22 events and 100 players.

“I think the opportunity here is global, and I think you’d be very naïve to not think that way,” he said on Wednesday.

“Especially if you see – even you look at the event at Kapalua a couple of weeks ago, which is supposed to be one of the big signature events and you see the ratings that that did on TV – I would say they were quite underwhelming compared to some of the other events.

“I think the opportunity here is global. Look, they are still massive events in America and I think they have huge history and tradition and they need to be kept. But there’s a lot of opportunity elsewhere.”

McIlroy has also expressed his openness to a LIV Golf format if it was similar to the Indian Premier League in cricket in recent weeks, played across two months with several stars competing.

His former Ryder Cup teammate, and former friend it now seems, Sergio Garcia bit back at these comments when speaking to the Evening Standard.

“I don’t think we want to be important for one month,” Garcia said. “We all deserve more than that.”

McIlroy has now responded to the Spaniard’s thoughts: “Sergio feels he deserves a lot of things.”

NOW READ: What on earth is Rory’s new driver?

NOW READ: LIV Golfer wants to climb ‘unfair’ world rankings at Dubai Desert Classic

What do you make of this Rory McIlroy-Sports Personality of the Year stance? Tell us on X/Twitter!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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