WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump awarded Golfer Tiger Woods the highest civilian honor on Monday, describing the 43-year-old as a "true legend" who transformed golf and then fought through years to return to the sport's summit
Trump receives Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Woods is the fourth golfer to earn that distinction and certainly the youngest. While he's dominating the sport for more than a decade, he's finally in his last month's Masters Tournament.
"Tiger was back on top," Trump declared during the Rose Garden ceremony.
Trump described the litany of victories Woods has recovered from his accidental injury.
"This evening, we are in the presence of a true legend Dominance, "Trump said during the presentation." So he's a great person. He's a great guy. "
Heartfelt congrats to @TigerWoods on the Presidential Medal of Freedom This evening
– Jack Nicklaus (@ Jacknicklaus) May 6, 2019
Woods 'father, Earl, Kutilda, Daughter, Sam Alexis, 11; son, Charlie Axel, 10; and girlfriend, Erica Herman, Woods' father, Earl, passed away more than a decade ago Woods' longtime caddy, Joe LaCava, also attended.
Woods became emotional as he spoke to his parents, and he thanked those who supported him over the years, saying, "You've seen the good and bad, the highs and lows, and I would not be in this position without all of your help. " Woods Tweeted After the White House ceremony:
It's an incredible privilege to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Considering the recipients, history, and what means to me and my family, it's very humbling. Thank you all for your support and I hope you will not give up on their dreams. pic.twitter.com/33CJIHwQvz
– Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) May 7, 2019
President George W. Bush presented the Medal of Freedom to Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Obama presented it to Charlie Sifford, sometimes referred to as the "Jackie Robinson of golf." Woods noted that he was his son after Sifford. "Woods recalled."
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is given to individuals who have made "especially 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, "according to the White House. Presidents have complete discretion over who they honor with the medal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.