President Trump presented Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden on Monday.
“We are in the presence of a true legend, an extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominance,” Trump said in an address where he gave an overview of Woods’ long career before presenting the medal. “Tiger Woods is a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive.”
The iconic golfer received the presidential honor following his win of the 2019 Masters tournament in April. Trump said he congratulated Woods by phone after his Masters victory and that he’d present him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a tweet last month.
In a short speech after receiving the medal, an emotional Woods thanked his family for their support and described his happiness at his recent wins.
“The amazing Masters experience I just had a few weeks ago certainly is part of the highlights of what I’ve accomplished so far in my life on the golf course,” he said.
Trump and Woods have a relationship that goes back several years. Trump said in 2014 that Woods was set to design a golf course in Dubai as part of a Trump Organization project, The New York Times reports. And Woods has supported Trump by appearing alongside him at the opening of the Tiger Woods Villa at the Trump National Doral Miami in 2014.
Their friendship also extends on to the golf course. Woods, who has played golf with other former Presidents, has played with Trump multiple times since the President took over office, including earlier this year and in November 2017.
On Twitter, the President has been consistently supportive of Woods. After Woods won the 2019 Masters, Trump lauded the golfer’s “fantastic life comeback.”
In a 2018 news conference after tying at the Northern Trust, Woods deflected questions about his relationship with Trump, saying “you have to respect the office,” and acknowledging that he’s known the President for years.
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