Rory McIlroy is named BBC NI's Sports Personality of 2014

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McIlroy handed BBC Sport NI 2014 award

Rory McIlroy has been named BBC Northern Ireland's Sport Personality of 2014 after being pipped by Lewis Hamilton for the main national award.

McIlroy received the Northern Ireland honour after Sunday's BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony in Glasgow.

Boxer Carl Frampton and Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher were second and third in the Northern Ireland awards.

"The support I get from Northern Ireland means a lot," said McIlroy.

"I try to keep my connection with Northern Ireland as much as I can even though I am not there quite as much as I used to be.

"I have tremendous support from people back home. Thank you for this award."

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World number one McIlroy's selection as the BBC Northern Ireland winner was no surprise after his glorious 2014 season.

McIlroy went into 2014 after a disappointing previous 12 months but the Northern Irishman's BMW PGA triumph at Wentworth in May kick-started a glorious summer which saw his Open victory at Royal Liverpool followed by successes at the Bridgestone Invitational and US PGA Championship.

The Holywood man's Valhalla success was his fourth major triumph and McIlroy will complete the career Grand Slam if he can win his first Masters title next April.

BBC Sport Northern Ireland executive producer Jane Tohill was joined on the judging panel for the Northern Ireland award by sports journalists Steven Beacom, Kenny Archer and Richard Mulligan plus Sport Northern Ireland's chief executive Antoinette McKeown.

McIlroy's stunning year saw him become the first European to win three different majors and he joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as one of only three golfers to win three majors by the age of 25.

The Northern Irishman also swept the PGA Tour Awards this year including collecting the Arnold Palmer Award, PGA Player of the year and PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Speaking after the BBC Sport's Personality of the Year ceremony, McIlroy said he had "no complaints" after being edged out for the main award for Formula 1 world champion Hamilton.

"It was great to be nominated and to get so many votes and finish second.

"It's not that disappointing and Lewis had a great year and is a very worthy winner."

Hamilton earned 34% of the 620,932 votes cast with McIlroy getting 20% and athlete Jo Pavey third with 16%.

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