Tiger Woods to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom at White House on Monday

Masters champion Tiger Woods will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Trump in a ceremony in White House Garden on Monday.

Trump will honor Woods, who won his 15th major and fifth green jacket at Augusta last month.

Trump and Woods have been golfing partners in the past. Their most-recent public pairing came at Trump National in Jupiter, Fla. in February.

The ceremony was announced Thursday by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Trump earlier said he would honor Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor for a civilian. The came the day after Woods’ most-recent victory at Augusta National.

Trump also congratulated Woods on Twitter during and immediately after his Masters victory.

The President has been an outspoken supporter of Woods throughout his golf comeback.

Woods, in turn, has been pressed by the media about his relationship with Trump. Last August, Woods was asked the following question:

“At times, especially 2018, I think a lot of people, especially colored immigrants are threatened by him and his policy — what do you say to people who might find it interesting that you have a friendly relationship with him?”

His answer avoided partisanship or politics:

“He’s the President of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office,” Woods said.

Woods now has 81 PGA Tour victories. He earned $2.07 million for his Masters victory and has amassed more than $118 million in career earnings.

He was arrested in May of 2017 on DUI charges and later completed a pre-trial diversion program and his probation term one month early. The timeline between his fourth Masters victory in 2005 and fifth in 2019 also included multiple surgeries on his back and knees, a humiliating public breakup with his ex-wife, a five-year victory drought on the PGA Tour and having to relearn his golf swing and game.

Woods was expected to play in the Wells Fargo Championship this week but opted to skip the event. It was one in which he played last year.

It is now all but certain Woods will not play again until the PGA Championship, which is set for Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. on Long Island from May 16-19.

Woods will be paired with Masters co-runner-up and 2018 PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka and 2018 British Open champion Francesco Molinari in the first two rounds of that event.

Golfers Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Charlie Sifford also have received Medals of Freedom.

The medal is considered the nation’s highest civilian honor. It is awarded to individuals deemed to have made special 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.

Trump gave posthumous awards to Elvis Presley, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Babe Ruth in 2018.

Multiple outlets covering the White House first reported the planned visit Wednesday, including CBS News, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.



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