By James Hibbitt published
From Emma Raducanu owning the stage at Flushing Meadows, to the Cheltenham Festival, Olympic Games and Phil Mickelson defying the odds at Kiawah Island, the summer of 2021 provided so many lasting sporting memories. They also provided a welcomed distraction to what was otherwise a turbulent year.
Two moments however, stood out head and shoulders above the rest.
Gareth Southgate had England believing that football was indeed coming home, only to fall at the final hurdle to the Italians, and Captain Fantastic, Catriona Matthew, led the European Solheim Cup team to glory on American soil for the first time since 2013.
Guess which one of them was rewarded in this year’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards?
Gareth Southgate was named the 2021 Coach of the Year with the England football team crowned Team of the Year.
Now England’s achievement in this year’s European Championship clearly deserves recognition. After all, it was their first major final in 55 years. That said, and very simply put, they did not win.
In contrast, Catriona Matthew led Europe to a 15-13 victory over USA at Inverness Club, Ohio. She did so with limited European fans present as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
So how has this happened? The answer of course, I do not know. I do however, feel it's wrong.
When it comes to the Sports Personality of the Year awards, golf has somewhat of an interesting relationship.
Only twice in its 67 year history has a golfer won its headline award. Welshman, Dai Rees, was crowned with honours in 1957 after leading Great Britain and Ireland to victory in the Ryder Cup at Lindrick. This was prior to the competition including continental Europe. It was also the only defeat the United States suffered between 1933 and 1985.
Sir Nick Faldo won in 1989 after claiming the first of his three Masters titles following a sudden death playoff against Scott Hoch. In the process, he became the first Englishman to win the Masters.
Six Ryder Cup teams have won the Team of the Year award however, the last of those came in 2010. Somewhat remarkably, the team that gave us the Miracle at Medinah in 2012 lost out. No Solheim Cup team has ever won that award.
Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? Unfortunately, not.
It seems my opinion is shared by many. Ian Poulter reacted by saying he had “given up” on the awards years ago.
Gave up on Spotty years ago. They asked several times if i’d fly over as Ryder Cup Team Europe were looking strong to win it in 2012. So I forked out to go for 48 hours only for the committee to overrule and give it to Team GB Olympics when it states in rules they can’t win 🤣December 19, 2021
Many other golf and sporting fans had their say too.
Havent agreed with any of the big awards tonight on #spoty - how the England football team win is utterly ridiculous-Solheim Cup side deserved it far more and probably one or two other contenders too - depressing that @BBCSport sinks to popularity ( in their opinion)December 19, 2021
So the only team not to win anything wins team of the year? Double cup wins must not count 🤔 #SPOTYDecember 19, 2021
Who is on the so called #SPOTY expert panel? England and Southgate as winners, an absolute joke. The only thing they have won! How about Catriona Matthew @beany25 and @SolheimCupEuro team and only their second away win on US soil?December 20, 2021
Catriona Matthew leads Europe to back to back Solheim Cup wins yet England football team win team and coach of the year for finishing 2nd 🤔 #SPOTY https://t.co/7JQdWLs9plDecember 19, 2021
#SPOTY @BBCSport team of the year and coach of the year absolute nonsense. England won nothing. The Solheim Cup team and Catriona Matthew won back to back cups, and away from home with no Euro fans. THATS A TEAM!December 19, 2021
What do you think? Let us know
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – From tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with signed items from the likes of Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els and Johnny Miller. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite golf films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
Watch: Rory McIlroy Holes Out For Eagle As He Begins Back Nine Charge
The four-time Major champion produced a hole-out eagle at the 9th as he chases down the leaders
By Matt Cradock • Published
‘One Of The Worst Par 5s I Have Played’ - Hatton Slates Yas Links 18th
After producing a quadruple bogey at the par-5 18th, Hatton launched a scathing attack on the hole's layout
By David Facey • Published