Eight high achievers have been short-listed with the same number battling for the sports team of the year.
The BBC’s equivalent will be played out amid pomp and ceremony on Sunday night in Manchester, with McDowell and jockey AP McCoy neck and neck for the coveted award. The same protagonists are likely to be in the frame next Wednesday in though there is a healthy sprinkling of female contenders in 2010, including swimmer Gráinne Murphy, boxing champion Katie Taylor and athlete Derval O’Rourke.
McDowell’s Ryder Cup comrade Rory McIlroy is also short-listed, along with rugby’s Tommy Bowe, Tipperary All-Ireland winner Lar Corbett and amateur boxer Paddy Barnes.
The RTÉ Sports awards, in association with The Irish Sports Council, will be broadcast live next Wednesday.
The Sports Team of the Year shortlist features the Irish Men’s senior boxing team, All-Ireland football and National League winners Cork, All-Ireland hurling champions Tipperary, the Republic of Ireland U17 Women’s soccer team, the Dublin Ladies football team; Shamrock Rovers, All-Ireland camogie champions Wexford and the gold-medal winning Irish Men’s U-23 Cross-Country heroes.