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A dispatch from the Rose Garden … Donald Trump and Tiger Woods wore matching dark blue suits, white shirts and red ties in the White House Rose Garden as Trump bestowed the presidential medal of freedom, America’s highest civilian honour, on his sometime business and golf partner. The US president, an avid golfer himself, described

A dispatch from the Rose Garden …

Donald Trump and Tiger Woods wore matching dark blue suits, white shirts and red ties in the White House Rose Garden as Trump bestowed the presidential medal of freedom, America’s highest civilian honour, on his sometime business and golf partner.

The US president, an avid golfer himself, described Woods as “one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports” and a “a global symbol of American excellence, devotion, and drive” during a short ceremony.


David Smith
(@SmithInAmerica)

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May 6, 2019

With evident relish, Trump recounted Woods’ career and the injuries that almost derailed it before his astonishing comeback last month to win a fifth US Masters title.

“The ‘age of Tiger’ gave us moments that will live forever in sporting lore,” he said. “We can’t wait to see what’s next Tiger, it’s going to be good… because there are no winners like you.”

The president also praised Woods as a “devoted philanthropist”, adding: “That’s how I first met Tiger.” Questions have been raised over Monday’s award because of Trump’s long business relationship with Woods who, at 43, is by far the youngest living sportsperson to receive the medal of freedom. The pair also play golf together, most recently in February.

While some African American sports stars have shunned the Trump White House, Woods thanked the president and looked at ease. But he became emotional as he recalled his late father and told his mother, “I love you, mom,” his voice cracking. Thanking those who have supported him over the years, he added: “You’ve seen the good and bad, the highs and lows, and I would not be in this position without all of your help.”

Among guests in the rose garden sunshine were First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and several senators including Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney.

They were joined by Woods’ mother Kutilda, 75, daughter Sam Alexis, 11, son Charlie Axel, 10, and girlfriend Erica Herman, 43, as well as his longtime caddie, Joe LaCava. After the ceremony, Woods and his family followed Trump into the Oval Office.



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