Tiger Woods will reportedly be at the White House on May 6, there at the invitation of President Donald Trump to celebrate his 2019 Masters win and to receive the executive branch’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Ed Henry of Fox News tweeted May 1 he had been told Woods, the now 15-time major champion, would be making this special appearance.
On April 15, a day after Woods shocked the sports world by winning his first major in nearly 11 years and first Masters in 14 years, Trump tweeted he had spoken with Woods by phone and would be presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Trump had not set a formal date for the ceremony and presentation.
Woods and Trump have known each other for years, dating back to when Trump was not in elected office. Trump has named a suite at his Trump National Doral resort after Woods, and the 81-time PGA Tour winner has designed a course set to open in Dubai that will be managed by the Trump Organization — known as Trump World Golf Club, Dubai.
The pair have played golf several times since Trump won the 2016 Presidential election, including shortly after his win and recently alongside Jack Nicklaus, which Jack used as an indicator to suggest Woods was ready to win his fifth green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club in April.
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.” Carrying the same weight as 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 will 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).