Golf’s awkward relationship with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show has added another chapter after Masters champion Dustin Johnson lost out in a public vote to determine the World Sport Star of the Year.
Johnson was one of six athletes shortlisted for the award after an exceptional year in which he won four times. Those victories included his second major and the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship.
He also re-established himself as the game’s No.1 player – having started the year fifth on the Official World Golf Ranking – and took his career earnings on the game’s most lucrative tour through the $70m mark.
In spite of all that, the 36-year-old has missed out on the ‘SPOTY’ award to mixed martial arts fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The Russian topped the online poll after a year in which he extended his perfect professional record to 29-0 following a win over interim champion Justin Gaethje in October.
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That fight came just months after the death of his father, coach and mentor. Nurmagomedov retired immediately afterwards.
A breakdown of the voting has not yet been released. Also on the shortlist were Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis, American basketball star LeBron James, French footballer Wendie Renard and Irish boxer Katie Taylor.
There are no golfers on the ten-person shortlist for the main BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. It was revealed on December 1, just under a fortnight before Lee Westwood won the Race To Dubai for the third time at the age of 47.