GOLF’S world No1 Rory McIlroy is the favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year after he was named on the 10-strong shortlist last night.
McIlroy, who won two Majors and helped Europe successfully defend the Ryder Cup this year, faces competition from newly-crowned Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.
The world’s most expensive footballer Gareth Bale, who helped Real Madrid to become kings of Europe, 10,000m runner Jo Pavey, who at 40 became the oldest woman to win a European Championship gold medal, and all-conquering dressage star Charlotte Dujardin are also in contention.
The shortlist is completed by boxer Carl Froch, Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold, Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans, gymnast Max Whitlock and swimmer Adam Peaty. The winner of the public vote is due to be named on 14 December.
Success for McIlroy would be golf’s first for a quarter of a century, since Sir Nick Faldo in 1989, and the eighth consecutive non-English-born winner, following Andy Murray last year, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, AP McCoy, Ryan Giggs, Sir Chris Hoy and Joe Calzaghe.
Zara Phillips, in 2006, was the last winner to be born in England.
Despite the ceremony being held in Glasgow, the venue for this year’s Commonwealth Games, Scotland is the only home nation not represented on the shortlist.
■ Gareth Bale (Football)
■ Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage)
■ Carl Froch (Boxing)
■ Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans (Skiing)
■ Lewis Hamilton (Formula One)
■ Rory McIlroy (Golf)
■ Jo Pavey (Athletics)
■ Adam Peaty (Swimming)
■ Max Whitlock (Gymnastics)
■ Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton)