April 15, 2019 / 7:15 PM / 8 months ago

Trump to award Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he would award Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom after the golfer won the Masters for the fifth time on Sunday.

Golf - Masters - Augusta National Golf Club - Augusta, Georgia, U.S. - April 14, 2019 - Tiger Woods of the U.S. celebrates on the 18th hole after winning the 2019 Masters. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

“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,” Trump tweeted.

The victory on Sunday was one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, as the 43-year-old ended an 11-year major title drought having overcome personal and professional setbacks including a highly-public divorce and multiple surgeries.

The one-stroke win at Augusta National led to an outpouring of support from sports greats and politicians including Trump.

Trump, an avid golfer, and Woods have played together in the past including in February when the pair joined golf great Jack Nicklaus for a round at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida.

Trump appeared to follow the action at this year’s Masters closely, tweeting well-wishes to the field on Saturday and encouraging people to tune in when Woods had the lead with just two holes left to play on Sunday.

“Congratulations to @TigerWoods, a truly Great Champion!” Trump tweeted shortly after Woods sank a short putt to secure his 15th major title.

“Love people who are great under pressure. What a fantastic life comeback for a really great guy!” he added later.

The medal is the highest civilian honour in the United States and is given annually to people who have made outstanding contributions to the security or national interests of the country, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours.

Since taking office Trump has given the award to several athletes including former professional NFL players Roger Staubach and Alan Page and late professional baseball player George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Rory Carroll; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Toby Davis

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