US President Donald Trump bestowed Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, describing the golfer as “one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports.”
Woods, 43, is only the fourth and the youngest golfer ever to have received the highest American civilian award.
Calling Woods, “a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive,” the president said, “Tiger’s determination and work ethic drove golf to new heights of athletic competition and popularity.”
In his remarks, Trump praised Woods as “one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports.”
Trump said, “we were in the presence of a true legend” who is “also a great person, a great guy”.
“We can’t wait to see what’s next, Tiger,” said Trump, an avid golfer and owner of several golf courses around the world.
Woods choked up as he thanked his mother, his two children, his girlfriend and his caddy during the ceremony on Monday in the White House Rose Garden.
“You’ve seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and I would not be in this position without all of your help,” Woods said, who dominated the sport for more than a decade.
He won his first major in nearly 11 years at last month’s Masters Tournament, a comeback that captivated the sporting world.
Woods’s Masters victory was his 15th major championship, during which he weathered a marital infidelity scandal that ended in divorce, a debilitating spine injury, an addiction to prescription painkillers and grave doubts about his athletic longevity.
Trump has long been a fan and recently, a business partner of Woods.