Shock as Rory McIlroy misses out in BBC Sports Personality vote

Rory McIlroy congratulates Lewis Hamilton after the Formula One driver won BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday night
Rory McIlroy congratulates Lewis Hamilton after the Formula One driver won BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday night

There was great disappointment in Northern Ireland and among golfing fans when Rory McIlroy failed to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday night.

Lewis Hamilton edged out the Holywood man to claim the coveted trophy.

Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2014, Lewis Hamilton, with second placed Rory McIlroy (right) during the 2014 Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Glasgow. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2014, Lewis Hamilton, with second placed Rory McIlroy (right) during the 2014 Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Glasgow. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

Hamilton won his second Formula One world title last month with victory at Abu Dhabi, while McIlroy this year became the first UK golfer to win back-to-back majors when he claimed the US PGA title after winning the Open.

The 25-year-old four-time major winner then helped Europe to a Ryder Cup victory at Gleneagles.

Rory tweeted afterwards: “Thanks to all who voted for me! Congrats to all the candidates and especially @LewisHamilton, thoroughly deserved and a worthy winner!”

Bookies William Hill said McIlroy had been the punters’ favourite, with a number of four and five figure bets and odds sometimes as low as 1/8.

Rory’s fans expressed disappointment on Twitter.

Mark Allen said: “Taking nothing away from Hamilton and his world title but Rory’s year was much better people”.

Colm Heaney asked whether Rory’s “robbery” was due to the fact that “Hamilton’s triumph is more recent and fresher in everyone’s mind?”

Becky Bailey was more even-handed. “I love Formula One and I like Lewis but I also like golf and think Rory should have won this evening. Higher profile sport wins again,” she said.

But Ben Coley explained that Hamilton had “more fans prepared to take time out and vote than Rory did”.

Hamilton took 209,920 votes and McIlroy 123,745 the BBC reported.

Colin Hollingsworth went so far as to link the outcome to Rory’s colourful love life.

“Not surprised Rory McIlroy didn’t win sports personality – how could he dump Caroline Wozniacki?” he asked.