President Trump Monday announced he would be awarding Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the wake of Woods’ Masters victory Sunday.
Woods’ one-shot victory at Augusta National capped off an amazing and lengthy comeback from personal setbacks and physical ailments.
Woods earned his fifth green jacket and 15 major championship with the Masters triumph. He lives in Jupiter, Fla., near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and has been a frequent golfing partner of Trump’s since the 2016 election.
Trump made the announcement on Twitter.
“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!” 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
Woods now has 81 PGA Tour victories. He earned $2.07 million for his Masters victory. He was arrested in May of 2017 on DUI charges and later completed a pre-trial diversion program and his probation term one month early.
Woods is not the first professional golfer to earn the Medal of Freedom. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus also have Medals of Freedom, both bestowed by President George W. Bush. President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor to pioneering black golfer Charlie Sifford in 2014.
The medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor, is bestowed by the president to individuals deemed to have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Trump handed out his first medals last year, making a posthumous award to Elvis and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and baseball legend Babe Ruth.
Trump spent much of Sunday at this golf course in Northern Virginia and appeared to be watching the Masters for at least part of the day, based on his Twitter posts. “Very exciting, tune in!” the president wrote shortly before Woods won the tournament. “Truly Great Champion!” he posted later.
(John Fritze and David Jackson of USA TODAY contributed to this report.)