On the heels of Tiger Woods winning the 2019 Masters for his fifth green jacket and first major since 2008, President Donald Trump said he plans to bestow his highest-available civilian honor upon the 81-time PGA Tour winner.
Tweeting Monday afternoon, Trump said he spoke with Woods after his Masters win, and he announced plans to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Spoke to @TigerWoods to congratulate him on the great victory he had in yesterday’s @TheMasters, & 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
The Presidential Medal of Freedom “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Alongside the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the biggest honors the federal government can bestow on an individual — and they do not have to be an American citizen.
The award was established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, superseding the Medal of Freedom established by President Harry S. Truman in 1945 to honor civilian service during World War II. Since its inception, the Presidential Medal of Freedom has been awarded to fewer than a dozen people each year.
Woods would become the 33rd athlete to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the fourth golfer, joining Arnold Palmer (2004), Jack Nicklaus (2005) and Charlie Sifford (2014).
Woods has played golf with President Trump at least twice since Trump took office in January 2017. He has played golf with Trump on many other occasions, and a golf course he has designed in Dubai will bear the President’s name when it opens as Trump World Golf Club.