Rory McIlroy reportedly skipped the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony this week due to a ‘family event’.
Four of the six nominees for this year’s SPOTY ceremony were in attendance in Salford on Tuesday, with Mary Earps chosen the winner ahead of Stuart Broad and Katrina Johnson-Thompson.
Wheelchair tennis star Alfie Hewett was also at the event, but neither Frankie Dettori or McIlroy were able to attend.
The horse racing icon nevertheless spoke live at the event via a video link and apologized for not being able to attend in person.
Rory McIlroy was absent from the awards ceremony
But McIlroy was unable to do so, with the Telegraph reporting that he had organized a family event in Florida.
The four-time major champion moved into an £8million mansion after marrying Erica Stoll earlier this year.
Although no reason was given for McIlroy’s absence from the event in Salford, Tommy Fleetwood took to the stage when the show’s segment focused on the golf star’s achievements in 2023.
The 34-year-old was not among the favorites to win the Sports Personality of the Year award and finished outside the top three in the voting.
It is the first time McIlroy has been nominated for the award since 2014 when he was on top of the world in golf.
He joined an illustrious list of golfers to win consecutive major titles before winning the World Golf Championship and leading Team Europe to victory at the Ryder Cup on his way to securing the No. 1 spot in the PGA Tour rankings.
Despite his achievements that year, McIlroy was overtaken in the voting by F1 superstar Lewis Hamilton, who had recently won the second Drivers’ Championship title of his career.
McIlroy may not have reached the same heights this year, but he once again proved why he is one of the greatest golfers in the world.
Tommy Fleetwood steps in to replace Rory McIlroy
The Northern Irishman was Team Europe’s leading point scorer at the Ryder Cup in Rome with four from a possible five.
He also achieved an impressive 13 top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and retained his Race to Dubai title for the fifth time.
Fleetwood partnered McIlroy at the 2023 Ryder Cup and praised his fellow Briton.
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“Rory is amazing,” Fleetwood said.
“I still feel like he’s the best player of our generation. I was very fortunate to play with him. He sees shots that we don’t see and tries to do weird things that he does.”
“It’s an amazing opportunity to play with him and he showed what a leader he is at the Ryder Cup.”