President Trump took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to announce that he’ll be awarding Tiger Woods the presidential medal of freedom. The president said he was honoring Woods because of the golfer’s great victory at the 2019 Masters. But beyond that, Trump said he was awarding Woods a medal for his “incredible success and comeback” in his life.
The president wrote, “Spoke to @TigerWoods to congratulate him on the great victory he had in yesterday’s @TheMasters, & to inform him that because of his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE, I will be presenting him with the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM!”
The President Said He Wanted to Honor Woods for His Great Comeback in Golf & in Life
Tiger Woods swept to victory in the 2019 Masters, earning the fifth green jacket of his career. Woods is coming ever closer to the record held by Jack Nicklaus, who has six green jackets, or Masters wins. Woods has now won 15 major golfing championships and is the oldest player to win the Masters since Jack Nicklaus won the competition back in 1986.
But President Trump seemed to be more interested in another aspect of Woods’ win on Sunday. The president’s tweet zeroed in on the fact that this is a “comeback” for Woods, both in golf and, as the president said, in LIFE. Woods’ struggles, both on the golf course and in his personal life, have been well documented. It’s been 14 years since Tiger Woods won a Masters. Not only that, but this year was the first time since 2005 that Woods managed to stay in the top 10 after round 1 of the tournament. Woods’ win on Sunday certainly looked like a major comeback to many people. Trump may have also been referring to the fact that Woods’ girlfriend, Erica Herman, has been by his side, cheering him on every step of the way, not only through the most recent tournament but ever since the two first went public with their relationship.
Tiger Woods Is Joining a Long List of Athletes Who Have Been Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
The presidential medal of freedom is considered to be the highest honor that can be awarded to civilians by the United States government. It is awarded by the president and, according to the White House, is intended for “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
A number of athletes have won the presidential medal of honor in the past. Last year, President Trump honored baseball legend Babe Ruth posthumously. Joe Di Maggio and Jackie Robinson have also been honored with the award. Willie Mays and Yogi Berra have also won the medal. In track, Jesse Owens has been honored with the presidential medal. Tennis legend Arthor Ashe was also decorated with the medal of freedom, posthumously.
Maybe a little closer to home for Tiger Woods, the golf legend Jack Nicklaus was honored with the presidential medal of freedom in 2005. And Barack Obama handed golf great Charles Sifford the award in 2014.