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Nike Golf’s Rory McIlroy ‘favourite’ for Sports Personality of the Year award

Since winning The Open Championship last Sunday, Nike’s Rory McIlroy has seen his chances of being named Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) rise dramatically, with the Northern Irishman topping many bookmakers’ lists.

The 25-year-old could become one of only a handful of golfing greats to claim all four majors should he be successful at The Masters during his career – which hopefully has plenty of years left to run.

McIlroy played some outstanding golf to finally lift the coveted Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool, and the way he went about his business, playing a near flawless final round, saw his odds to win a SPOTY award take a tumble. He’s now listed as one of the standout favourites, edging ahead of Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton and rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson.

A spokeswoman for a major bookmaker said: “Rory’s Open win has propelled him straight to the top of the SPOTY market, he is the only shining light in what has been a terrible summer for British sport. As far as the odds are concerned, it’s Rory’s to lose.”

Fellow Irishman and sports star AP McCoy is also heavily favoured and features in the top 15 having already won the award in November 2013.

Other notable contenders for the SPOTY award include Bangor’s Kelly Gallagher – the partially-sighted skier who won Britain’s first-ever Winter Paralympic golf medal at Sochi 2014 – and popular golfer Graeme McDowell. The former US Open winner isn’t considered much of a favourite for the prestigious award, however the Srixon golfer – just like when he’s on the greens – should never be ruled out.

Who will be the next Sports Personality of the Year? The winner will be announced during the BBC awards show in Glasgow on December 14.

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