President Donald Trump on Monday evening awarded golfing legend Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor at the White House following his fifth Masters’ victory last month.
The president in his speech said that Woods, 43, is ‘one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports’ and has inspired people worldwide with his barrier-breaking victories.
‘He’s also a great person. He’s a great guy,’ Trump declared. ‘He inspired millions of young Americans with his thrilling wire-to-wire victories. Tiger Woods is a global symbol of American excellence, devotion, and drive.’
Trump also pointed out that Woods’ victory in April was ‘record-setting ratings’ for a Masters tournament.
‘We are in the presence of a true legend, an extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominance,’ he said.
The citation for the award said that Woods was being honored for the 5 Masters tournament’s he’s won, beginning in 1997 when he became the first black man and the youngest golfer ever to clinch the title. He won again in 2019, becoming the second-oldest champ.
After receiving the Medal of Freedom, an emotional Tiger said: ‘You’ve seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and I would not be in this position without all your help,’ he told his family. ‘I’ve battled, I try to hang in there, and I’ve tried to come back and play the great game of golf again.’
The ceremony was attended by Tiger’s girlfriend Erica Herman, his mother, Kultida Woods, his daughter Sam, 11, and son Charlie 10.
Tiger, is the first African-American to win the Masters and the youngest golfer to take the title. The latest win was his first major tournament in 11 years in April after suffering severe injuries that threatened to end his career forever.