Darren Clarke looks certain to pull out the running for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.

The Ulsterman was trading at odds-against on Betfair as speculation mounts that he will rule himself out of contention.

It has been suggested that the Ryder Cup hero will tell BBC organisers that he does not want to be considered for the award because he does not want to win it solely on the basis of the recent death of his wide Heather.

The Ulsterman had been matched at 1.46 (around 4-9) on Betfair but was last night available to back at more than 5-4, with a lot of money on the lay side.

The drift in the betting accelerated fellow Ulsterman Eamonn Holmes said on Radio Five Live that he had heard it was “more than just a rumour” that his compatriot would withdraw from consideration.

Clarke won three points out of three in Europe's record-breaking Ryder Cup win at the K Club, just seven weeks after the death of his wife.