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Donald Trump presents Tiger Woods with US Presidential Medal of Freedom at White House

The golfing great clinched a comeback win at the Masters last month.

United States President Donald Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods
United States President Donald Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods
Image: Oliver Contreras/PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has awarded Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a ceremony in the White House.

The golfing great, who clinched a comeback win at the Masters in Augusta last month, was praised for his “relentless will to win” as he was bestowed with the country’s highest honour.

“These qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries, defying limits and always striving for greatness,” Trump said.

The president also congratulated Woods for his “amazing comeback and… life” and for giving sports fans a lifetime of memories.

“We can’t wait to see what’s next, Tiger,” said Trump, an avid golfer and owner of several golf courses around the world, including in Doonbeg, Co Clare.

The 43 year-old golfer choked up as he thanked his mother, two children, his girlfriend and his caddy during the ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.

“You have seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows,” said Woods, who battled back from injury to win the Masters, his first major title since the 2008 US Open.

“My dad is no longer here, but my mom is here,” Woods said. “I love you, Mom.”

“I have tried to hang in there and I have tried to come back and play the great game of golf again,” he continued.

“I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to do it again.”

Trump Awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods President Donald Trump hugs golfer Tiger Woods after presenting him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the Rose Garden of the White House Source: Ron Sachs/PA Images

‘Especially meritorious’

Established by John F Kennedy in 1963, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is bestowed upon those who have made an “especially meritorious” contribution to US security or national interests, world peace, cultural pursuits or other non-specified endeavours.

Woods, a 15-time major winner, joins Arnold Palmer, Charlie Sifford and Jack Nicklaus as golfers to have received the award.

He has previously golfed with Trump on several occasions, most recently in February at the president’s course in Jupiter, Florida.

Woods was asked last year about his relationship with Trump, who has been engaged in an ongoing feud with a number of African-American basketball and American football stars.

“Well, I’ve known Donald for a number of years,” Woods said. “We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together.”

He said that the important thing was to respect the office of the presidency, regardless of who happened to be occupying the White House.

“No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office,” Woods said.

With reporting from - © AFP 2019

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