It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the trio of Luke Donald, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy are on there as all three have achieved remarkable feats this year.
Take Luke Donald for example, this is a man who stands on the cusp of achieving something which has never been achieved before in golf.
If he goes on to win the Race to Dubai and top the European Money List he will be the first person to ever win both US and European Money Lists. Oh and he’s also the world number one.
How many other sportsmen do Britain have that are top of their respective sports? Not a great deal.
Unfortunately I’m not sure the wider British audience and voters will be aware of quite what an incredible competitor Donald is because of his lack of a Major title. so I’d be surprised if he wins.
Moving on to Rory McIlroy I think he would be a deserving winner of the award as he smashed many a US Open record on his way to winning his maiden Major back in June at Congressional GC. Coupled with his remarkable collapse in the US Masters earlier in the season and the story has a lovely ring to it that the British public are sure to love.
As good as he is, he will certainly win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards at some point in his career and may suffer from this in the voting, in the same way Lewis Hamilton did after winning the F1 world championship.
Darren Clarke is the one of the three I believe is mostly likely to win the main award on the evening. His biggest achievement of the year was to win the Open Championship which was on the BBC. Although he has done little else, the fact that he is now 43 and has battled back from the depths of the Official World Rankings to win his first Major suggests to me that he will win.
The Northern-Irishman has always been a popular figure with the British public wherever he has played and came close to winning the award back in 2006 after returning to golf after losing his wife to cancer to play in and win the Ryder Cup in Ireland.
Personally I think the way that McIlroy won the US Open is more deserving of the title than Clarke but, knowing the British public, of the three Clarke is most likely to win the award.
Most importantly for me though is that three golfers are on the shortlist outside of a Ryder Cup year and it just shows how much our golfing stars are dominating at the moment.
Long may it continue.