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Tiger Woods awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

HONOUR: Tiger Woods was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump

TIGER WOODS has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US.

The award was presented to the golf champion by president Donald Trump in the White House’s rose garden yesterday.

Woods, 43, delivered an emotional speech at the ceremony in which he thanked his two children and his mother.

In April, Woods won the Masters, an achievement that he described at the time as “surreal”.

The victory was Woods’ fifth Masters, his 15th major title and his first major win in 11 years.

Trump described Woods as “one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports” and praised his “spectacular achievements” on the golf course.

“Tiger, we are inspired by everything you have become and attained,” he said.

“This has been an unbelievable experience and to have the support that I’ve had for all of these years and everyone here has seen and been with me for – some of you for my entire life – and some of you for more than half my life. 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,” Woods said during his speech.

He fought to hold back tears as he told his mum, who was present at the ceremony, that he loved her and recounted winning the Masters in 1997 and having both his parents with him. His dad, Earl, died in 2006.

“It’s an incredible privilege to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Considering the recipients, history, and what this means to me and my family, it’s also very humbling. Thank you all for your support and I hope this inspires others to never give up on their dreams,” Woods later tweeted.

Trump’s decision to bestow the honour on Woods has prompted further criticism about the president’s conduct in office.

“I don’t think Tiger Woods is undeserving because he’s a golfer. Three others have Medals of Freedom. What makes me skeptical is that Tiger and Trump are buddies and business partners. Woods is developing a golf course for Trump’s hotel in Dubai. That’s where my objection lies,” one critic wrote on Twitter.

“Today, Tiger Woods showed millionaire business associates of Trump everywhere that dreams really can come true. Whether your dream is to receive a Presidential Medal of Golf, to run the VA, or to be an Ambassador, boldly dare to dream the kind of dream money can buy,” another wrote.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is given to individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," according to the White House.

Past recipients include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sidney Poitier, Maya Angelou and Diana Ross.

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