Controversial golfing figure Tiger Woods has been awarded the US’s highest civilian honour – the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Donald Trump, a keen golfer and owner of several courses, presented the medal on Monday evening in the White House’s Rose Garden.
The Medal of Freedom is awarded to those who have made a significant contribution to the security or national interest of the US, towards world peace, culture or other significant action.
Mr Trump announced he would be awarding it to Woods in a tweet after the golfer made a victorious comeback when he won the Masters last month.
At the time the President said: “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!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
Woods’ golfing career slumped around a decade ago after rumours emerged that he had multiple affairs and substance problems, his wife divorced him, he crashed his car and was recovering from knee surgery. He lost a string of lucrative endorsements and dropped out of the top 50 world ranking of golfers.
A few attempts to return to golf faltered, until the sportsman – often called one of the best golfers of all time – finally broke through with his Masters win.
Mr Trump’s decision to bestow such a grand honour on the 43-year-old raised some eyebrows.
Woods, who Mr Trump played a round with in February, is considered a business associate of The Trump Organization.
The golfer has lent his name to a villa at one of the president’s clubs and has designed an 18-hole course in Dubai which will be managed by the organisation.
However, Woods is not the first professional golfer to receive the award, others including Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
Nor is Woods the first celebrity who offered support to a presidential campaign -Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom to Bruce Springsteen, who performed in concerts to support his election efforts.
Source: SKY NEWS