- Tiger Woods has been honored by Donald Trump.
- Trump awarded Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House Rose Garden ceremony on Monday.
- Trump called Woods “an extraordinary athlete who transformed golf” and said he’s someone who embodies “the American spirit of pushing boundaries.”
- Woods used the occasion to thank his family for supporting him through the highs and lows of his life.
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Tiger Woods is a “great guy” who embodies the “American spirit of pushing boundaries,” according to Donald Trump.
Woods was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US, at the White House Rose Garden in Washington DC on Monday.
The award recognises people who have made “meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours,” a statement on the official White House website says.
Woods received the medal just three weeks after completing one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history when he won the 2019 Masters, his fifth championship at Augusta National Golf Club but his first major title in golf for more than a decade.
Shortly after Woods won the Masters, Trump tweeted that he would formally acknowledge the golfer’s achievement by rewarding him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Spoke to @TigerWoods to congratulate him on the great victory he had in yesterday’s @TheMasters, & to inform him that because of his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE, I will be presenting him with the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
At Monday’s ceremony, Trump said Woods is “a global symbol of American excellence, devotion, and drive,” Fox News reports.
“Tiger, we are inspired by everything you’ve become and attained,” Trump said. “The job you’ve done is incredible. Your spectacular achievements on the golf course, your triumph over physical adversity and your relentless will to win, win, win; these qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries, defying limits and always striving for greatness.”
Trump is a keen golfer himself and was once described by the four-time major champion Rory McIlroy as a “decent player for a guy in his 70s.”
Trump played with Woods in February when they paired together for a round at the president’s golf club in Florida.
Of his occasional playing partner, Trump went on to say Woods is “a great person,” a “great guy,” and “a true legend… an extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominance.”
Woods thanked his family
On the journey that eventually led him to the White House on Monday, Woods has had to overcome scandals in his private life, a 2017 arrest when he was found asleep in his car with the engine running, and four back surgeries.
The 15-time major champion used the occasion to thank his family for their support through the highs in his golfing career and the lows away from sport.
“This has been an unbelievable experience and everyone here has seen and been with me for them, some of you for my entire life, and some of you for more than half my life,” Woods said.
“You’ve seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows and I would not be in this position without your help.”
Woods was expected to participate in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in May but skipped the tournament.
Golf.com reports that his next event will be the PGA Championship, one of golf’s four big tournaments, which begins on May 16 and ends on May 19.
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