Tiger Woods to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump

Tiger Woods reacts as he wins the Masters golf tournament Sunday

Now, Tiger will be honored at the White House on Monday by President Trump.

U.S. President Donald Trump will bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom on golf legend Tiger Woods, the White House announced Thursday. But these same critics seemingly ignored the fact that Woods completed one of the greatest career comebacks in sports history by winning the Masters Tournament a month ago.

Established by John F. Kennedy in 1963, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is bestowed upon those who have made an "especially meritorious" contribution to USA security or national interests, world peace, cultural pursuits or other non-specified endeavors.

Woods was joined at the ceremony by his mother, Kutilda; daughter, Sam Alexis, 11; son, Charlie Axel, 10; and girlfriend Erica Herman.

Trump has awarded numerous athletes with the medal during his time in office, including Alan Page, Roger Staubach, and a posthumous presentation for Babe Ruth.

Woods is also not the first golfer to receive the Medal of Freedom.

"Congratulations again on your incredible comeback and on your fantastic life", the president told a stoic Woods. Trump got Woods to show up at his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, a day after the golfer's first Masters victory in 1997.

The prize recognises "individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours". Trump also named a villa after him at the Trump National Doral Miami.

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A presidential medal to a sports star usually wouldn't raise questions of conflicts. Mr. Trump tweeted last month.

Trump has a long-standing personal and business relationship with Woods and has golfed with him at his courses in Florida since becoming president.

"He's the president of the United States".

"Your spectacular achievements on the golf course, your triumph over physical adversity and your relentless will to win, win, win".

In his post-Masters championship interview, Woods said he "had serious doubts" about whether he was going to be able to mount a comeback.

"We've played golf together and had dinner together. You have to respect the office", he said. "No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office", Woods said at the time, earning the ire of ESPN commentator Max Kellerman.

Woods said: "Well, I've known Donald for a number of years".

Trump's love of the sport is well known, but it's also a business that has gotten him unwanted headlines.

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