President Donald Trump has awarded golfer Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Trump described Woods on Monday as a “true legend, an extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominance.”
Trump described the litany of victories that Woods has obtained during his remarkable career and the injuries that almost derailed it.
Jack Nicklaus, a previous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was among several golfers to congratulate Woods in messages on their Twitter accounts.
Heartfelt congrats to @TigerWoods on receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom this evening! His impact on golf and his ability to inspire others to play this great game is on par with his incredible talent!
— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) May 6, 2019
Woods, 43, won his fifth Masters title last month, overcoming personal and professional adversity to once more claim the green jacket.
Woods became emotional as he spoke of his parents and thanked those who have supported him over the years, saying, “You’ve seen the good and bad, the highs and lows, and I would not be in this position without all of your help.”
Woods is the fourth professional golfer to receive the award. President George W. Bush presented the Medal of Freedom to Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. President Barack Obama presented it to Charlie Sifford, sometimes referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of golf.”
The 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. Presidents have complete discretion over whom they honor with the medal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.