Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | Voter Guide

Trump Gives Presidential Medal Of Freedom To Tiger Woods

Photo caption:

Photo by Andrew Redington Getty Images

Tiger Woods with the Masters trophy after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Ga.

President Trump Monday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to golfer Tiger Woods in a ceremony at the White House.

Trump praised Woods' many accomplishments on the golf course and his ability to come back from debilitating physical adversity that might have permanently sidelined any other athlete.

"Tiger Woods is a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive," Trump said as Woods stood by him. "These qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries, defying limits and always striving for greatness."

With his mother and two children in attendance, Woods thanked his family, personal friends and aides in brief and emotional remarks.

"You've seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and I would not be in this position without all of your help," he said.

Trump has had a contentious relationship with many black athletes but Woods has a long history with the president.

Trump has long been a fan and recently, a business partner of Woods. He announced his decision to give the award to Woods in a tweet, after Woods won the Masters tournament last month at age 43, capping a remarkable comeback from personal turmoil and physical injuries.

In February, Trump tweeted about a round he played with Woods and another champion golfer, Jack Nicklaus, at Trump's course in Jupiter, Florida.

Woods designed a golf course at a Trump property in Dubai. Trump also named a villa after Woods at his Trump Doral resort near Miami.

Not everyone is a fan of Trump's decision to award Woods the Medal of Freedom, or of Wood's decision to accept it. Writer Rick Reilly, whose book Commander In Cheat portrays Trump as a notorious flouter of golf rules, tweeted Woods should spurn the award, because he says, Trump "thinks golf should only be for the rich."

Monday's ceremony is the second time in less than six months that Trump has awarded Medals of Freedom. In November, the President gave the award to a number of people, including Elvis and Babe Ruth.

Woods becomes the fourth professional golfer to receive the medal, along with Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charlie Sifford. Woods said in the ceremony that Sifford was a mentor and that he named his own son, Charlie, after him.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.