By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Graeme_McDowellDecember 31 - Graeme McDowell, the Ryder Cup hero, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list published today, along with a CBE for George Kerr, a man known as "Mr Judo".

The Ulsterman ruled the golfing world in a glorious summer and autumn when his winning putt gave Europe victory in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor four months after he became the first British golfer in 40 years to win the US Open.

The honour will compensate the 31-year-old from Portrush, who justified European team captain Colin Montgomerie's decision to make him anchorman in the final day's singles matches in Wales, for missing out on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

McDowell said: "For my achievements as a golfer to be recognised in this way is truly special.

"Both myself and my family are very proud of this unique acknowledgement."

George KerrA CBE is given to Kerr (pictured), who in February became only the 19th person and second Briton to achieve the rank of 10th Dan in judo.

Kerr, 73, President of the British Judo Association, said he was "ecstatic" to be given a CBE, to add to the Order of the Rising Sun he received from the Emperor of Japan in last month for services to the sport.

Kerr said: "I could not believe it.

"To get a CBE is phenomenal.

I'm very, very surprised and honoured to receive such a high award as a CBE.

"My family and everyone is delighted."

"It has been a fantastic year.

"I've been so honoured and humbled and blessed; it's like it's been sent from heaven."

Others to be honoured include former Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron, who retried earlier this year.

Baron, who was replaced by former UK Sport chef executive John Steele after a 12-year spell in charge that saw him transform rugby union's commercial success, is awarded a CBE.

England also won the 2003 World Cup and secured the right to host the 2015 edition of the tournament under the reign of Baron.

There is also an MBE for former hockey international Tracey Menzies, who won over 160 caps for Britain and Scotland.

England's World Cup final referee Howard Webb will also receive the MBE at Buckingham Palace, after his 2010 was as career-defining as McDowell's has been.

The 39-year-old from Rotherham, a sergeant in the South Yorkshire Police, who has taken a five-year sabbatical from the force to focus on refereeing, officiated at the Champions League final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich in May before becoming the first English referee since 1974 to handle the World Cup final when he took charge of Spain versus the Netherlands in Johannesburg.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
November 2010: "Mr Judo" thrilled with Japanese honour
February 2010: Kerr's outstanding life in judo receives special recognition