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Tiger Woods awarded America’s highest civilian honour by Donald Trump at the White House
The legendary golfer was emotional as he paid tribute to his family for their support
Tiger Woods has been presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour, by Donald Trump in Washington.
The 43-year-old was awarded the honour at a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House a fortnight on from pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sport with his 15th major triumph at The Masters.
He is the fourth golfer to have received the award after Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Charles Sifford.
Other past recipients include Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Aretha Franklin, Billie Jean King, Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali.
Woods, who has played golf with President Trump on a number of occasions, wrote on Twitter: “It’s an incredible privilege to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“Considering the recipients, history, and what this means to me and my family, it’s also very humbling.
“Thank you all for your support and I hope this inspires others to never give up on their dreams.”
At the ceremony, Woods delivered an emotional address, in which he thanked his mother and children.
“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.”
Woods’ Masters triumph was his 15th major title in total and left him three behind Nicklaus’ all-time record.
It also completed one of sport’s great comebacks after multiple back surgeries and personal issues looked to have cut short both his pursuit of Nicklaus and his career.
The former world number one’s win at Augusta was his 81st victory on the PGA Tour.
Trump had already revealed in a tweet last month that Woods was to receive the honour in the wake of his remarkable fifth Green Jacket at Augusta.
At Monday’s ceremony, Trump described Woods as “a global symbol of American excellence, devotion, and drive.”
He added: “Tiger, we are inspired by everything you’ve become and attained. The job you’ve done is incredible.
“Your spectacular achievements on the golf course, your triumph over physical adversity and your relentless will to win, win, win; these qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries, defying limits and always striving for greatness.”
Woods’ relationship with Trump, a man unpopular among African Americans, has come under scrutiny.
Last summer, when asked whether he agreed with Trump’s policies, Woods said: “He’s the President of the United States. You have to respect the office.
“No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”