Sports Personality Presenter of the Year Gary Lineker expressed surprise at Matt Fitzpatrick’s failure to make the 2022 shortlist despite the golf star’s triumph at the US Open this year.
The BBC announced the six nominees for their annual award on Tuesday.with Beth Mead, Ben StokesRonnie O’Sullivan, Jessica Gadirova, Eve Muirhead and Jake Wightman all vying to be crowned the winner on Wednesday night.
This year’s shortlist has sparked much controversy after a number of successful British athletes were left out, but no omission has caused as much outrage as Fitzpatrick.
Gary Lineker questioned Matt Fitzpatrick’s omission from SPOTY’s 2022 shortlist
Lineker, who organizes the annual awards ceremony, took to Twitter to question Fitzpatrick’s snub
After finding out the golf star didn’t make the cut, Lineker couldn’t contain his surprise
The English golfer won his first major tournament winning the US Open in June, when he overtook fellow Briton Rory McIlroy en route to the title.
However, despite becoming only the second Englishman to win the tournament since 1970, there was still no place for him on SPOTY’s shortlist.
Ian Poulter led the backlash against Fitzpatrick’s omission on Twitter, calling the awards show “a continuing farce and joke” after he was also snubbed for a shortlist spot in 2012 despite starring in the spectacular European Ryder Cup victory.
Justin Rose, the last English player to win the US Open in 2013, also wondered why the 28-year-old failed to earn a place among the six nominees.
And now Lineker, who is due to present SPOTY on Wednesday night, has become the latest high-profile figure to suggest Fitzpatrick should have been included.
Ian Poulter led the reaction against SPOTY on Twitter after Fitzpatrick was not included
Poulter called the awards a ‘continuous prank and joke’ while insisting he never watches them
Former US Open champion Justin Rose joined Poulter in criticizing decision to omit Fitzpatrick
The BBC Host wrote on Twitter: ‘Start rehearsals for @BBCSPOTY and see that the list of suitors does not contain @MattFitz94!’ as well as two surprised face emojis.
A golfer hasn’t been crowned Sports Personality of the Year since Nick Faldo in 1989 after his first Masters victory.
Rose was shortlisted after winning the US Open in 2013, to finish ninth out of 10 nominees, with the cut to six ultimately proving costly for Fitzpatrick.
Former BBC presenter Dan Walker was another who pointed to Fitzpatrick’s omission, writing on Twitter: “Love #SPOTY but surprised there isn’t room on the shortlist for @MattFitz94 who had an amazing year.”
Fans also questioned the decision, with one describing it as a “shame” while another said it was a “sham” that Fitzpatrick was omitted.
Former BBC presenter Dan Walker was another who quizzed Fitzpatrick on failing to make the cut
He became the second Englishman to win the US Open since 1970 this summer
Matthew Fieldsend wrote: ‘How the hell is @MattFitz94 not included in the nominations! Absolutely shocking. How many majors must he earn per year to get a nomination. Clearly 1 on American soil just isn’t good enough apparently.
Oli Hunt added: ‘Absolute shame that @MattFitz94 isn’t on this list. The BBC may not be able to show much golf and Matt may not be there in person, but @BBCSport’s annual golf cold shoulder is embarrassing.
While @markg0366 commented: ‘#Spoty22 just saw the shortlist, I think you left out @MattFitz94. I’m just assuming it’s a website download issue, but I’d love to see it fixed soon. Sincerely, a diligent license payer.
Fitzpatrick wasn’t the only sportsman to think he was unfairly left off the list, with many protesting the absence of UFC star Leon Edwards.
Leon Edwards, who became Britain’s second UFC champion in August, was also ruled out
Beth Mead tops six nominees for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 award
Edwards got one of the greatest last-minute knockouts in MMA history when he beat welterweight champion Kamaru Usman to the point of no return in the final stages of a fight he was destined to lose to the points in August.
Yet despite becoming Britain’s second UFC champion, like Fitzpatrick, there was still no place for the 31-year-old on SPOTY’s shortlist.
Mead, who inspired English football’s success at the Women’s European Championships this year, is the heavy favorite to be crowned the winner.