When Tiger Woods won the Masters on April 14, President Donald Trump declared he was going to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and ordered his aides to schedule the event as soon as possible.
On Monday, Trump got what he asked for. At a ceremony in the sun-splashed White House Rose Garden, Trump made the 43-year-old Woods the fourth, and youngest, professional golfer to receive the nation’s highest civilian honour, after Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Charlie Sifford.
With 81 PGA Tour victories, Woods is one shy of Sam Snead’s all-time record, and with 15 major tournament victories, he trails only Nicklaus, who has 18.
But it was his dramatic Masters victory at Augusta National Golf Club last month, ending an 11-year major championship drought, that capped a years-long comeback from injuries and drama in his personal life, including an arrest two years ago for driving under the influence.
Trump eagerly leapt onto the Tiger bandwagon. The two have played golf a number of times, most recently with Nicklaus in February at Trump’s course in Jupiter, Florida.
At a ceremony attended by several U.S. lawmakers, Trump called Woods “a true legend.”