Tiger Woods received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump on Monday in a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden.
On a beautiful sunny spring evening, an emotional Woods reached another peak in a comeback for the ages. He is the first active athlete ever to earn the medal.
Woods took the podium to a standing ovation by the crowd after Trump delivered about 15 minutes of introductory remarks lauding Woods’ professional and philanthropic accomplishments.
“This has been an unbelievable experience,” said Woods, who was choked up by the experience.
Woods’ victory in Augusta last month capped off “one of the most incredible comebacks that golf, or any sport, has ever seen,” Trump said. “Tiger, we are inspired by everything you’ve become and attained.”
Among those in attendance were vice president Mike Pence; Tiger’s mother, Kultida Woods; his son, Charlie; his daughter, Sam; his girlfriend, Erica Herman; and his caddie, Joe LaCava. Trump also paid tribute to Woods’ late father, Earl. Trump pointed out LaCava by name for a quick round of applause.
He called Woods “one of the greatest athletes in all of sports … a true legend.” Trump credited Woods with introducing golf to many people around the world.