Tiger Woods was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Donald Trump on Monday in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Woods became the fourth golfer to receive the award, joining Arnold Palmer (2004), Jack Nicklaus (2005) and Charlie Sifford (2014).
“Tiger, we are inspired by everything you’ve become and attained,” said Trump, an avid golfer who owns several golf clubs and has played numerous rounds with Woods. “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.”
The 43-year-old Woods, who grew up in Cypress and was an All-American at Stanford, has won 81 times on the PGA Tour, one short of Sam Snead’s record. He won the Tour Championship in October to end a five-year drought caused by four back surgeries.
Last month, Woods won the Masters for the fifth time, giving him 15 major championships, three short of Nicklaus’ record, once thought to be unreachable. In 2001, Woods became the only golfer to hold all four modern major titles at the same time, a feat known as the “Tiger Slam.”
“This has been an unbelievable experience and … everyone here has seen and been with me for them, some of you for my entire life, and some of you for more than half my life,” Woods said.
“You’ve seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and I would not be in this position without your help.”
Woods, who has 108 total professional victories, also won three consecutive United States Junior Amateur titles from 1991-93 and followed that with three straight U.S. Amateur titles from 1994-96 before turning pro.
In addition, he was No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings for a record of 281 consecutive weeks from 2005-10, and for a total of 683 weeks overall, another record.