Francesco Molinari wins #SPOTY World Sports Star award

Francesco Molinari

Don't adjust your sets... golf actually won something at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards. 

Francesco Molinari won the World Sports Star award - formerly known as the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award - fending off gymnast Simone Biles, winter sports star Ester Ledecka and Ukrainian boxing champ Oleksandr Usyk.

The award is Molinari's third gong in a week. He was named European Tour Golfer of the Year and also claimed the Golf Writers' Trophy, awarded annually by the Association of Golf Writers.

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Molinari has had a spectacular 2018. In addition to winning his first major championship in convincing fashion at Carnoustie in July, he won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, landed his first PGA Tour victory, became only the second player to win all five of his matches at the Ryder Cup, and ended the season as Europe’s No.1 player with victory in the Race To Dubai.

Molinari becomes the first golfer since Tiger Woods in 2000 to land the SPOTY award and the ninth golfer, following Gary Player (1965); Lee Trevino (1971); Jack Nicklaus (1980); Seve Ballesteros (1984); Greg Norman (1986, 1983); Mark O’Meara (1998); and Woods in 2000. 

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Despite golfers' paltry success in the main BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, they have fared rather better in this category. Indeed, only tennis players and stars from the world of athletics have won it more often.

However, in spite of Molinari's win, there was outrage at Justin Rose and Georgia Hall being overlooked for a place on the six-person shortlist for the main award, despite each having spectacular years in 2018.

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