Donald Trump tees up US Presidential Medal of Freedom for Tiger Woods

The story behind what inspired that viral Tiger Woods tattoo	
				Jeff Gross  Getty Images

The story behind what inspired that viral Tiger Woods tattoo Jeff Gross Getty Images

"Today, it's my privilege to award our nation's highest civilian honor to one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports, Tiger Woods", said Trump.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders noted that the event is invitation only and will be held at the White House Rose Garden.

But it was his dramatic Masters victory at Augusta National Golf Club last month, ending an 11-year major championship drought, that capped a years-long comeback from injuries and drama in his personal life, including an arrest two years ago for driving under the influence.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom, introduced by John F Kennedy in 1963, 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".

Of course, President Obama gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award to Oprah Winfrey, who was one of his biggest celebrity allies during the 2008 election.

Woods, the 81-time PGA TOUR victor and two-time FedExCup champion, joins Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charlie Sifford as the only TOUR players to receive the honor.

His golf game also was hampered by affairs with multiple women that ended his marriage, encapsulated by his furious spouse smashing his SUV with, of all things, a golf club. After a string of losses in 2011, Woods failed to make the World Golf Ranking's top 50 players list.

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Trump has also struck business deals with Woods. "I can't think of something like this, where Tiger is designing a golf course for Trump".

In a short speech after receiving the medal, an emotional Woods thanked his family for their support and described his happiness at his recent wins.

On Monday, Trump got what he asked for.

The next day, Trump tweeted that he had called Woods from Air Force One to personally congratulate him, announcing he would honor Woods with the medal "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 welcomed Woods' remarks with a tweet. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charlie Sifford are the other three. Woods has won the Masters five times.

He went on to note that he named his own son Charlie after the previous golfer to win this award, Charlie Sifford, the first African American to play on the PGA Tour.

"He's the president of the United States. You have to respect the office", Woods said. You have to respect the office.

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