Without predicting the future, there’s no way of determining whether golf great Tiger Woods will ever win another major, but since it has taken 11 years to win his most recent one, the Masters in Augusta, Georgia last month, Woods is living in the moment relishing the current praise and notoriety that he’s receiving.
Woods’ latest achievement earned him an invitation to the White House to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday evening, May 6, in the Rose Garden area of the grounds.
“Tiger’s determination and work ethic drove golf to new heights of athletic competition and popularity,” said President Donald Trump who noted that it was his “privilege” to bestow the honor on “one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports.”
Woods, 43, who the president described as a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive, has been a golfing partner and business partner of the president in the past.
From his personal Twitter account, Woods stated, “It’s an incredible privilege to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Considering the recipients, history, and what this means to me and my family, it’s also very humbling. Thank you all for your support and I hope this inspires others to never give up on their dreams.”
Woods’ professional career was recounted by the president for nearly 20 minutes in front of guests that included Woods’ mother, children Sam and Charlie, his caddie, Joe LaCava, White House staff and senators. He thanked his family for all of their love and support.
“You’ve seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and I would not be in this position without all your help,” he said.
Woods is the fourth golfer in U.S. history to receive the Medal of Freedom honor, following in the footsteps of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charlie Sifford, the first African-American to play on the PGA Tour. Sifford, who Woods named his son after, was given the award by President Barack Obama.