Poulter’s Ryder Cup heroics not enough for SPOTY recognition

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Ian Poulter’s Herculean effort at the Ryder Cup was easily the biggest reason that Europe retained their trophy and the golfer has now risen to prominence in the betting for Sports Personality of the Year.

Europe were in dire trouble on day two at Medinah, until Poulter reeled off five straight birdies to somehow help he and partner Rory McIlroy defeat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson in the final fourballs to take the overall score to 10-6.

This must have provided fresh hope of a comeback in the singles and he again led the way as one of eight victors to secure the most unlikely of triumphs.

Poulter was undoubtedly the heartbeat of the team, walking out on the final day pounding his chest and taking all the criticism that the US crowd could throw at him in his stride.

He secured maximum points from his four games, taking his overall Ryder Cup record to 12 points from a possible 15, being Europe’s top scorer for the third time at the event.

The size of Poulter’s impact means that he as short as 33/1 to win the Sports Personality of the Year accolade and this is a massive price if the wording of the prize actually had any bearing on the result.

In another year, Poulter almost single-handedly wrestling the Ryder Cup from the US would be enough to take the BBC honour, but 2012 has been so heroic to British sport.

Britain can celebrate its first ever Tour De France winner, a first tennis Grand Slam winner in 76 years and a handful of Olympic gold medallists to have achieved the feat in front of their own fans.

Poulter will not be the first sportsman to star at the Ryder Cup, but sometimes it can be the latest sporting achievement that is most remembered by Sports Personality of the Year voters.

All odds and markets correct as of publication

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.