Europe’s magnificent 2012 Ryder Cup victory has been recognised by the Sports Journalists’ Association, when it was handed the Team of the Year prize at their annual British Sports Awards on Thursday.
Captain Jose Maria Olazabal and his men were the runaway winners of the award, ahead of Olympic Rowers Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger and third-placed Chelsea, the 2012 Champions League winners.
It is the sixth time Europe’s golfers have won the SJA Team of the Year award, and the fourth time in the last ten years.
Chief Executive of The European Tour, George O’Grady, collected the award on behalf of the team. He said: "This has been an incredible 12 months for sport, unquestionably highlighted by the staging in London of an inspirational Olympic Games, and for Europe's Ryder Cup Team to win this award in such a magical year is very special.
“I would like to thank all the members of the SJA for this award on behalf of José María Olazábal - who this week has been involved in a major junior initiative in Spain with Miguel Angel Jiménez - and his team and to say how much we appreciate your words and support which inspire and enrich everyone involved in the world of golf and sport."
The SJA awards were first staged in 1949 and are the country’s longest-running sports awards, voted for by a membership made up of over 750 sports writers, broadcasters, photographers and editors.
The team will be hoping to make it a double at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards on December the 16th, where golfers Rory McIlroy and world amateur number four Georgia Hall are also nominated for prizes.
Other 2012 winners included:
Sportsman of the Year: Bradley Wiggins (Cycling)
Sportswoman of the Year: Jessica Ennis (Athletics)
Sports Team of the Year: Europe Ryder Cup (Golf)
Paralympic sport (men): David Weir (Wheelchair Athletics)
Paralympic sport (women): Sarah Storey (Cycling)
Best International Newcomer: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Football)
Outstanding Performance: Jessica Ennis (Athletics)
Outstanding Contribution to Sport: Lord Coe
Spirit of Sport: Jonnie Peacock (Paralympian)
President’s Award: Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins (Rowing)
Chairman’s Award: Jonny Marray (Tennis)