Neither Georgia Hall or Justin Rose were nominated for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award
BBC Once Again Proves Its Disinterest In Golf At SPOTY
The BBC’s 2018 Sports Personality of the Year awards were heavily criticised in the golf circle on social media but golf did get its first winner in a number of years.
Francesco Molinari lifted the World Sport Star of the Year award after beating gymnast Simone Biles, boxer Olexsandr Usyk and skier/snowboarder Ester Ledecka.
The Italian won his first major this year at The Open, won the BMW PGA Championship, lifted his first PGA Tour title, won the Race to Dubai and recorded one of the greatest Ryder Cup showings in history, becoming the first European to win all five of their matches.
That award had been renamed from the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year which has been won by a number of golfers down the years including Gary Player in 1965, Lee Trevino in 1970, Jack Nicklaus in 1980, Seve Ballesteros in 1984, Greg Norman twice and Tiger Woods in 2000.
It is the first award won by golf at SPOTY since 2011 where Lauren Taylor won the Young Sportsperson of the Year award.
However, aside from Molinari, golf was unsurprisingly overlooked but perhaps even more than we may have expected.
The shortlist for the main vote was revealed on the night and of the six athletes, none were golfers.
That was despite Georgia Hall becoming just the fourth English Major winner and youngest Brit to do so in her Women’s British Open triumph.
Hall outlasted Thailand’s Phornanong Phatlum at Royal Lytham and St Annes to win by two strokes, making just three bogeys during the entire week.
Justin Rose, of course, reached the world number one spot in 2018 and won twice as well as the FedEx Cup. He wasn’t on the shortlist either.
Hall wasn’t even interviewed on stage to speak of her Major win and the Telegraph’s Golf Correspondent James Corrigan was angry at that, plus made a good point imagining if she had won Wimbledon.
He described it as “an effing disgrace.”
If a female tennis player were to win Wimbledon then they would be considered for the main vote, you’d think.
The Guardian’s Golf Correspondent Ewan Murray also Tweeted along the same lines:
However, Hall’s snub after a phenomenal maiden Major victory – which the BBC showed via a highlights programme at 11.45pm that evening – angered many.
Sports Reporter Emma Dodds Tweeted that the omission of Georgia Hall on the shortlist “further highlights the task women’s golf has.”
As well the lack of an interview with her, her win at Royal Lytham and St Annes received just 8.5 seconds (according to James Corrigan) during the show.
Tommy Fleetwood was another who was confused by the lack of acknowledgement for Hall.
Golf wasn’t really expected to win anything so Francesco Molinari’s World Sports Star of the Year award is a plus, but the complete lack of acknowledgement for Georgia Hall leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Hall’s Major win was deemed less important than Harry Kane’s captaincy at the World Cup where England finished fourth, beating Panama, Sweden and Tunisia in the process.
It is also worth noting that the European Ryder Cup team was nominated for Team of the Year but lost out to England Netball’s Commonwealth Games Gold Medal.
Scottish writer Martin Dempster was bemused by SPOTY:
The Netball team also beat Tiger Woods’ 80th PGA Tour win to the Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year Award.
The BBC has pretty much given up all of its golf coverage over the past decade, with now just the weekend of The Masters remaining, and this latest SPOTY snub once again proves their disinterest in our sport.
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