Trump Presents Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods

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He mentioned his 12-shot win at the 1997 Masters, when a 21-year-old Woods captured his first major title, saying Woods managed to "crush the field". After Woods won the 2019 Masters, Trump lauded the golfer's "fantastic life comeback".

President Donald Trump talks to Captain's assistant Tiger Woods of the U.S. Team after singles matches of the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club on October 1, 2017, in Jersey City, N.J.

Trump congratulated Woods, whom he frequently played golf with in Florida, the day after Woods won his fifth Masters.

The Times report later went on to characterize Trump's award to Tiger Woods as a mix of "hero worship and opportunism", suggesting that it may be a ploy to bring a prominent black athlete to the White House as other athletes (football and basketball players) have boycotted.

"The president thinks Tiger is not only a tremendous athlete but also has a great comeback story", said Sanders. The president, reading mostly from a teleprompter but also going off script, as he often does, recounted Woods' many triumphs and failures in the last decade. Obama presented it to Charlie Sifford, sometimes referred to as the "Jackie Robinson of golf". Trump congratulated Woods on winning the Masters Tournament last month. Woods said, "I consider myself as lucky to win this after all the troubles I fought with". Trump mentioned Woods' 2017 spinal fusion surgery.

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"I can't recall a business partner", Kopko told the Times.

"You have to ask whether it's his true belief Tiger Woods deserves this award or whether he's doing it to help his business", said Jordan Libowitz, communications director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-leaning public policy group. Why is Woods receiving the award?

The Medal of Freedom recognizes individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors", according to the executive order designating the award.

The president placed his business in a trust run by his sons and a longtime lieutenant that names him as its sole beneficiary, meaning that even though he doesn't run its day-to-day operations he ultimately will reap the profits. "To not only be able to play again, but to be able to win again, is something I will forever be grateful for".

The medal ceremony took place in the Rose Garden at the White House as both men exited the Oval Office wearing red ties.