BBC SPOTY Presenter Gary Lineker Shocked At Matt Fitzpatrick's Snub

The co-host of the ceremony has expressed his surprise that the US Open champion hasn't made the shortlist

Gary Lineker at the 2022 FA Cup Semi Final between Manchester City and Liverpool
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gary Lineker has expressed surprise that Matt Fitzpatrick has been snubbed by the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The former footballer, who co-hosts the ceremony, took to Twitter to remark on the omission, writing: “Starting rehearsals for @BBCSPOTY and saw the list of contenders doesn’t contain @MattFitz94! 😳😳”

Lineker, who is a keen golf enthusiast and even anchored the BBC’s Masters coverage in 2009, is the latest high-profile figure to comment on the controversy. Soon after the shortlist was revealed, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose had their say, with Poulter describing Fitzpatrick's absence as “disgusting" and a "joke”.

Tommy Fleetwood also offered his support to Fitzpatrick, tweeting: “Regardless of how @BBCSport see it Matt has had an unbelievable year. He knows it, we all know it @MattFitz94 #BBCSPOTY”

Certainly, Fitzpatrick has had a 2022 to be proud of. In May, he finished tied for fifth in the PGA Championship. However, that was just a sign of what was to come. In June, he joined Rose as the second Englishman to win the US Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970, at the Country Club of Brookline. His achievement was even more notable because of the manner with which he closed out his victory, finding the green from a tricky lie in a bunker on the 72nd hole.

The win also marked Fitzpatrick’s maiden Major title, and it was made even more special by the fact he won it at the same venue he won the US Amateur title in 2013, placing him alongside 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus as the only other player to achieve the feat. The victory also saw him reach the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career.

As for Fitzpatrick, it appears he will not be surprised he has been left out. Last month, it was reported that he had politely declined an invite to the ceremony because golfers are traditionally not favoured. Indeed, the last golfer to win the prestigious award was Sir Nick Faldo in 1989 – only the second to receive the honour. More recently, even Rory McIlroy could only finish runner-up for the award in 2014 despite winning two Majors that year.

The nominees for the award are gymnast Jessica Gadirova, footballer Beth Mead, curling star Eve Muirhead, cricketer Ben Stokes, snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan and athlete Jake Wightman. Lineker is one of four presenters at the ceremony, which takes place on Wednesday. 

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Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.