A green jacket, a fat paycheck and a restored reputation aren’t the only rewards Tiger Woods will receive after winning his fifth Masters on Sunday, capping one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.
He’ll also be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, according to President Donald Trump.
“Spoke to Tiger Woods to congratulate him on the great victory he had,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon, and “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!”
Trump didn’t announce a date for that honor, which would put Woods in rarefied company along with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charlie Sifford, the only other golfers to have received the award. George H.W. Bush presented the medals to Nicklaus and Palmer; Barack Obama to Sifford. So far, Trump has honored three athletes with medals of freedom: Babe Ruth, Roger Staubach and Alan Page.
Trump, of course, is an avid golfer, who played alongside Woods and Nicklaus in early February at one of Trump’s Florida courses, with Nicklaus’s son Steve rounding out the foursome. The president later shared a photo of the group on social media, and a Trump Organization official noted that Woods and Nicklaus have designed courses for the company.
Trump’s assessment then of Woods’ game was spot-on, with the president predicting that Woods would “be winning majors again.”
And Trump tweeted about the Masters several times over the weekend, writing on Sunday afternoon that Woods was “a truly Great Champion!”
“Love people who are great under pressure,” he wrote after Woods won his first Masters title since 2005. “What a fantastic life comeback for a really great guy!”
The victory for Woods at Augusta, of course, represented an epic comeback, nearly 11 years after his last victory in a major tournament. But the victory also represented more than his fifth green jacket and 15th major title. It was a conquest over physical injuries, personal demons and other problems largely of his own making.
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