Tiger Woods, fresh off his epic comeback victory in the Masters, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday, reports AFP.
Presenting the golfing great with the nation's highest honor, Trump praised Woods' "relentless will to win, win, win." "These qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries, defying limits and always striving for greatness," the president said. Trump congratulated Woods on "your amazing comeback and your amazing 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.
Woods, 43, choked up as he thanked his mother, his 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 last month, 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." 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 football stars. "Well, I've known Donald for a number of years," Woods said. "We've played golf together. We've had dinner together.
Woods said the important thing was to respect the office of the presidency, regardless of who happened to be occupying the White House. b"No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office," Woods said.