Fifteen-time major winner Tiger Woods has been presented with America’s highest civilian honour by President Donald Trump in Washington.
The 43-year-old, who won the Masters at Augusta in April, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony, the BBC reports.
Noting that Woods’ family was on hand for the White House event – including his mother, children and girlfriend – Trump called the 15-time major winner “a global symbol to excellence, devotion and drive.” The president summarized Woods’s considerable career achievements, spending some time on the latter’s groundbreaking victory at the 1997 Masters.
Those accomplishments included overcoming severe injuries and personal issues to win the 2019 Masters, his first major victory since 2008 and an achievement that resonated far beyond the world of sports.
Trump praised Woods’ “relentless will to win, win, win”. “These qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries and defying limits,” Trump said.
Woods thanked his mother and two children during the ceremony. “You have seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows,” said Woods.
The prize recognises “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 accolade, after Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and the PGA Tour’s first black player, Charlie Sifford.
Billie Jean King and Michael Jordan are among other athletes to win the award.