The 15-time Major winner has become just the fourth golfer in history to receive the honour
Tiger Woods Receives Presidential Medal Of Freedom
Tiger Woods has been presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington by Donald Trump.
The award is America’s highest civilian honour and comes after the 43-year-old captured his 15th Major Championship at The Masters, 11 years after his 14th Major at the 2008 US Open.
President Trump praised Tiger’s “relentless will to win, win, win”.
“These qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries and defying limits,” he said.
Woods thanked his mother and his children at the ceremony.
“You have seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows,” he said.
“I would not be in this position without all of your help.
“In 1997, yes, I won the Masters and I ended up hugging my dad and my mom.
“My dad is no longer here but my mom is here, I love you mom.
“The amazing Masters experience I just had a few weeks ago certainly is part of the highlight of what I’ve accomplished in my life on the golf course.”
John F Kennedy introduced the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.
It awards “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours”.
Woods is the fourth golfer to receive the award after Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charlie Sifford.
Sifford was the PGA Tour’s first African-American player and is an idol for Woods, which is why he named his son after him.
Other high profile sports stars to receive the award include Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Billie Jean King.
Woods won his 15th Major by one stroke, two years after undergoing a fourth back surgery and less than two years after being arrested for DUI and then attending rehab for addiction to medication.
He was outside of the top 1,000 in the world in late 2017 and now sits 6th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The American won his 80th PGA Tour title last September at the Tour Championship and his Masters title was his 15th Major and 81st PGA Tour triumph.
He is chasing Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour wins and Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Major wins.
His Augusta win was heralded as one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sport.
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