Rory McIlroy refuses invite to BBC SPOTY and does not even speak on video link

England women's goalkeeper Mary Earps wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year as Rory McIlroy finishes out the places. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 19 Dec 2023
Rory McIlroy refuses invite to BBC SPOTY and does not even speak on video

Rory McIlroy finished out of the places as England women's goalkeeper Mary Earps was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2023. 

McIlroy, 34, ended the season as Europe's No.1 following a solid season where he retained the DP World Tour's Race to Dubai and won it for a fifth time.

The Northern Irishman won twice in 2023 at the Dubai Desert Classic and Scottish Open and he also crucially top scored with four points from five en route to helping Luke Donald's Team Europe win back the Ryder Cup in Rome. 

But McIlroy, who was one of six nominees for BBC SPOTY, was once again unsuccessful in the majors in 2023 as his wait for a fifth major title slips into a 10th season. 

McIlroy shunned his invite to attend BBC SPOTY, which celebrated its 70th year on December 19, 2023. 

He was also the only one of the six nominees who did not speak to the BBC.

While the reasons for McIlroy's absence - and not appearing on video link - remain unknown, it should be noted he was in the country watching his beloved Manchester United grind out a 0-0 against Liverpool at Anfield some 48 hours previous on Sunday. 

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2023 was held at MediaCity in Salford, which is a 40-minute drive away from Liverpool. 

No comment has been made by the BBC as to why McIlroy was a no-show. 

"I would have voted for Rory McIlroy but the BBC no longer shows golf any more so what's the point," said one disgruntled golf fan. 

The BBC incredibly turned down a free PGA Tour highlights package this season, which we discussed more in here

The reason? Down to "not suiting the demographic", a source told the Telegraph

Golf's bad record in BBC SPOTY continues

Only two golfers have ever won BBC Sports Personality of the Year in its 70-year history.

That equates to less than 3%

Sir Nick Faldo was the last golfer to win BBC SPOTY coming in 1989

Faldo etched his name on the award that year having slipped on the famous Green Jacket for the first time at The Masters.

The Englishman went on to win six majors before being knighted in 2009. 

Wales' Dai Rees was the first golfer to win BBC SPOTY in 1957, a year in which he captained Great Britain to their first Ryder Cup success in 24 years in a 7.5-4.5 victory.

McIlroy finished second at BBC SPOTY in 2014 when F1 legend Lewis Hamilton won it.

That year McIlroy won two majors and still fell shy of the first prize. 

When Earps won, broadcaster Piers Morgan tweeted: "Trying to get my head around two of England’s women footballers winning BBC SPOTY in successive years… while male sporting superstars with great personalities like Rory McIlroy, Frankie Dettori & Ronnie O’Sullivan have never won it."

Rory McIlroy shuns SPOTY invite and does not even speak to the BBC

McIlroy was 50/1 to win BBC SPOTY when the bookies first compiled odds. 

He then drifted out heavily to a complete 150/1 outsider on December 19. 

That was more than likely a result of news emerging McIlroy would not be attending the BBC's night. 

Perhaps McIlroy read my latest Roberts Rants article after all

The golf segment of BBC SPOTY appeared an hour and 10 minutes into the programme at 8.11pm. 

After a 60-second review of the Solheim Cup (was it worth even bothering?!), the BBC kindly gave the Ryder Cup a full five minutes.

McIlroy not only refused an invite to attend BBC SPOTY but he was also the only one of the six nominees for the main award to not speak to the BBC on the night. 

Tommy Fleetwood, who got the winning point for Europe at the Ryder Cup, stepped in to chat to Gary Lineker on stage. 

Even jockey Frankie Dettori, who also did not attend the awards ceremony, still spoke to the BBC via a video link. 

Mary Earps wins BBC SPOTY

England women's goalkeeper Mary Earps, 30, was crowned 2023 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

She emulated her compatriot Beth Mead, who became the first women's footballer to win the award in 2022. 

Manchester United women's goalkeeper Earps was the standout player for England as they reached the Women's World Cup final for the first time in 2023. 

She played in every minute over the seven matches, keeping three clean sheets en route to winning the World Cup Golden Glove. 

England unfortunately went on to lose to Spain 1-0 in the final. 

She was also voted England Women's Player of the Year for 2022-2023 and she finished fifth for the Ballon d'Or award. 

On top of that, she claimed the Women's Super League Golden Glove for the 2022-23 season with Manchester United, having kept a record 14 clean sheets. 

Earps was installed as a red-hot 1/10 favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year, so the award was not a huge surprise for most sports fans in the know. 

Cricketer Stuard Broad finished second and athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson came third.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2023 - Top Three

1. Mary Earps

2. Stuart Broad

3. Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Should McIlroy have won BBC SPOTY or was Earps a deserved winner? Were you surprised McIlroy was even nominated given the BBC no longer cares about golf? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.

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