Sports Personality of the Year presenter Gary Lineker has expressed his surprise that Matt Fitzpatrick failed to make the 2022 shortlist despite the golf star’s triumph at the US Open this year.
The BBC announced the six nominees for its annual award on Tuesday, with Beth Mead, Ben Stokes, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jessica Gadirova, Eve Muirhead and Jake Whiteman the winners Wednesday night.
This year’s shortlist generated much controversy after a number of successful British athletes were left out, yet no omission caused as much outrage as Fitzpatrick’s.
Gary Lineker has questioned Matt Fitzpatrick’s omission from SPOTY’s 2022 shortlist
Lineker, who hosts the annual awards ceremony, took to Twitter to question the Fitzpatrick snub
After discovering that the golf star wasn’t cut, Lineker couldn’t contain his surprise
The English golfer secured his first major with victory at the US Open in June, when he outsprinted fellow Briton Rory McIlroy en route to the title.
However, although he became only the second Englishman to win the tournament since 1970, there was no place for him on the SPOTY shortlist.
Ian Poulter led the backlash against Fitzpatrick’s omission on Twitter, calling the awards ceremony ‘a travesty and a running joke’ after he was also snubbed for a shortlist place in 2012 despite his starring role in the dramatic Ryder Cup win at Europe.
Justin Rose, the last English player to win the US Open in 2013, wondered why the 28-year-old had failed to secure a place among the six favourites.
And now Lineker, who is set to host Spotty on Wednesday night, has become the latest high-profile figure to suggest Fitzpatrick should have been included.
Ian Poulter led the backlash against SPOTY on Twitter after Fitzpatrick was not included
Boulter called the awards “a farce and a constant joke” while insisting he never watches them
Former US Open champion Justin Rose has joined Poulter in criticizing the decision to omit Fitzpatrick
BBC host wrote on Twitter: “BBCSPOTY rehearsals started and I saw the list of contestants didn’t contain @MattFitz94!” Along with two stunned face emojis.
No golfer has been crowned Sports Personality of the Year since Nick Faldo in 1989 with his first win at the Masters.
Rose was shortlisted after winning the US Open in 2013, finishing ninth out of 10 candidates, as the eventual reduction to six proved costly for Fitzpatrick.
Former BBC presenter Dan Walker was another highlight of Fitzpatrick’s omission, writing on Twitter: “I love #SPOTY but am surprised there is no space on the shortlist for @MattFitz94 who’s had an amazing year.”
Fans also questioned the decision, with one calling it a “disgrace” while another said Fitzpatrick’s deletion was a “hoax”.
It was also former BBC presenter Dan Walker who questioned Fitzpatrick’s failure to make the cut
He became only the second Englishman to win the US Open since 1970 in the summer
Matthew Feldsend writes: “How on earth is @MattFitz94 not included in the nominations! Absolutely shocking. How many majors does it take to win a year to get a nomination. Obviously 1 on US soil isn’t good enough it seems.
Ollie Hunt added: “Absolute shame that @MattFitz94 isn’t on this list. The BBC may not be able to broadcast a lot of golf and Matt may not be there in person, but @BBCSport’s annual golf show is an embarrassment.”
While @markg0366 commented: ‘#Spoty22 just saw the shortlist I think you deleted @MattFitz94. I simply assumed it was uploaded to a website issue but it’s great to see it rectified so quickly. Yours sincerely, your tireless licensing drive.
Fitzpatrick wasn’t the only athlete that fans believe was unfairly left off the list, with many protesting UFC superstar Leon Edwards’ absence.
Leon Edwards, who became the second British UFC champion in August, was also disqualified
Beth Mead leads the six nominees for the 2022 BBC Sports Award
Edwards landed one of the greatest last-minute knockouts in MMA history by knocking welterweight champion Kamaru Usman to a point of no return in the dying stages of a fight he was set to lose on points in August.
However, despite being the second British UFC champion, like Fitzpatrick, there was no place for the 31-year-old on the SPOTY shortlist.
Mead, who inspired England’s soccer success at this year’s Women’s European Championship, is the favorite to be crowned winner.
#Shocked #Matt #Fitzpatricks #neglect #Gary #Lineker #left #SPOTY #rehearsals #BBC #Awards