Count a few more trophies for Colin Montgomerie and Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team. Monty snagged the BBC Sports Personality Coach of the Year Award on Sunday. While not exactly a coach, he’s credited for masterminding the brilliant European victory over the Americans at Celtic Manor in October.
“It is an honour again to be here again and receive this award on behalf of 12 fantastic players and coaches, who got us prepared just that bit better than the opposition,” said Montgomerie.
“It was a fantastic year for European golf, we’ve never been in ruder health, I’m privileged to be here to receive this on behalf of the European Tour.”
Meanwhile, Monty also accepted the Sports Personality Team of the Year Award, on behalf of Europe’s Ryder Cup team.
“It’s an honour for me to be here on behalf of this team of 12 great great men,” said Montgomerie. “We’re very fortunate when you see the list of contenders [for this award]. We thank you for your support and your votes.
“I had a great group of assistants and our own unsung heroes, our caddies.
“There were three times as many people there on that Monday as are here tonight, I don’t think a lot of work was done in the south of Wales on that famous Monday, we want to thank every supporter who turned out and supported us.”
Monty was joined on stage by Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood, who were both key to Europe’s victory against the United States. Westwood, the world’s No. 1 player, finished the week with a 3-1 record, including a 5&4 rout over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in the third match that propelled a European comeback.
McDowell, the US Open champion and Tiger Tamer, showed his clutch factor. Knowing he had to win the match for Europe to take back the Ryder Cup, he drainied a 15-footer on the 16th against Hunter Mahan to go two up with two to play. After Mahan fluffed his chip on the 17th, the hole and match were conceded to McDowell.
Westwood and McDowell were also nominated for Sports Personality of the Year, but to the surprise of many, neither won — or even placed in the top-three (despite awesome campaign videos like this!). Jockey AP McCoy received the most votes to win the honor. It’s likely that Westy and McDowell split the vote, which cost both of them. At least that’s what fellow European Tour golfer Oliver Wilson tweeted:
Ian Poulter was more vocal about the letdown for his pals.
They’ll get ’em next time! Um, actually…tough year to relive, especially for McDowell, whom I would’ve voted for.
Congrats to Monty and Team Europe.