On Monday, President Donald Trump awarded Tiger Woods the Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the Rose Garden. Trump said that the 43-year-old golfing legend is “one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports,” is an inspiration to others throughout the world, and “a global symbol of American excellence.”
[Scroll down for video]
“He’s also a great person. He’s a great guy,” Trump stated during the ceremony, according to a report by the Daily Mail. “He inspired millions of young Americans with his thrilling wire-to-wire victories.
“Tiger Woods is a global symbol of American excellence, devotion, and drive.”
Woods is not only the first African-American to secure a win at the Masters; he was also the youngest golfer to take the title.
As he was awarded the medal, Woods began to cry. He spoke about his “amazing” comeback in front of the audience, which included his new girlfriend, Erica Herman, as well as his mother, children, Trump, and the first lady.
According to the award citation, Woods was being recognized for his five Masters tournament wins, including his first in 1997, where he became the first African-American to earn the title. With his win in 2019, Woods is also the second-oldest Masters champion in history.
Trump also noted that Woods currently has 81 victories on the PGA tour, just one behind the all-time record.
“We are in the presence of a true legend, an extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominance,” said Trump during the ceremony.
Trump went on to recognize Woods for his accomplishment off the golf course, including as a philanthropist and entrepreneur.
Woods and Trump have been business partners since 2014, when the pair came together to open the Tiger Woods Villa at a Doral, Florida golf club.
Woods recent Masters win was a shock to many. Trump said that the golfer possessed a “relentless will to win, win, win” that is a shining example of the American spirit. He also described Woods as someone “whose tenacity, willpower and unrelenting drive” are a source of inspiration to all.
“Congratulations again on your amazing comeback and your amazing life,” said Trump. “We can’t wait to see what’s next Tiger. It’s going to be good.”