Big-time golf fan and president of the United States Donald Trump has announced his intention to award Masters champion Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“Because of his incredible success and comeback in sports (golf) and, more important, life, I will be presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Trump tweeted.
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
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, along with the Congressional Gold Medal, are the highest civilian awards of the United States.
It recognizes those people who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”.
The medal has been awarded since 1963, during which time numerous sporting figures have received it.
Last year, baseball icon Babe Ruth, NFL quarterback Roger Staubach and NFL defensive tackle turned associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Alan Page, were all awarded Presidential Medals of Freedom.
Only three golfers have received the award: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Charles Sifford, the first African-American to play on the PGA Tour.
Woods and Trump have a longstanding relationship and have golfed together several times. The relationship has not soured since Trump became president, and Woods has risked severe criticism on several occasions as a result.
“I’ve known Donald for a number of years,” he said back in August. “We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.”
Asked if he thought badly of Trump because of his immigration policies, Woods said: “Well, he’s the President of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
His comments drew praise from the president, who tweeted: “The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game – he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!”
The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game – he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2018
Woods joined Trump and Jack Nicklaus for a round of golf as recently as February, with Trump backing Woods to go on and win another major afterwards.
Everyone is asking how Tiger played yesterday. The answer is Great! He was long, straight & putted fantastically well. He shot a 64. Tiger is back & will be winning Majors again! Not surprisingly, Jack also played really well. His putting is amazing! Jack & Tiger like each other.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2019
“Everyone is asking how Tiger played yesterday. The answer is Great! He was long, straight & putted fantastically well. He shot a 64. Tiger is back & will be winning Majors again!” he wrote.
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