Sports Illustrated will announce its choice for Sportsman of the Year on Dec. 3. Here's one of the nominations for that honor by an SI writer.
Rory McIlroy would deserve to be Sportsman of the Year strictly for his on-the-course accomplishments: four victories to ascend to number one in the World Ranking; topping the European and PGA Tour money lists with over $8 million; leading Europe to a historic comeback at the Ryder Cup; and, most importantly, winning a second major championship at age 23, which puts him ahead of Tiger Woods's pace. But what makes McIlroy such a wonderful ambassador is the grace, humility and sheer likeability he has displayed while taking possession of an entire sport.
"He's very grounded and people can relate to him. He's remains very approachable, very happy-go-lucky, just a normal kid from Northern Ireland with a great talent," says McIlroy's friend and countryman Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champ. "He certainly doesn't have that aloofness that a lot of athletes have around the world."