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NASSAU, BAHAMAS - DECEMBER 02: Tiger Woods of the United States hits his shot on the second tee during round two of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, The Bahamas on December 2, 2016 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Trump Awards Tiger Woods Presidential Medal of Freedom

While plenty of pro athletes have rejected going to the White House under Donald Trump‘s presidency, golfer Tiger Woods had no qualms.

On Monday, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian honor — by the 45th president, who called him “a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive.”

Trump, who owns several golf courses and has drawn ire for his time on the links, recounted Tiger’s greatness to senior administration officials, senators and Woods’ family in the Rose Garden.

“Your spectacular achievements on the golf course, your triumph over physical adversity and your relentless will to win, win, win — these qualities embody the American spirit,” the president said.

The 43-year-old was given the honor just weeks after winning his fifth Masters Tournament. On the road to the victory, Woods struggled with injuries that seemed to rob him of his talent, family troubles and struggles to stay sober.

Now second all-time in PGA Tour victories and Masters Championships, the 11-time PGA Tour Player of the Year winner couldn’t help but become emotional when thanking his family.

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“You’ve seen the good and bad and the highs and the lows, and I would not be in this position without your help,” he said. Even with his recent comeback, his past still haunts him. During his US Open appearance, Woods smiled and waved at a fan wearing a shirt depicting his DUI mugshot.

After winning the US Open, Trump called Woods to let him know that he’d be receiving the award for ” his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE.”

Woods and Trump have a long-standing relationship. The golf legend is currently designing a course at a Trump Organization-managed club in Dubai and back in 1997 celebrated his first Masters win at Trump’s Taj Mahal casino.

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Written by Bill Piersa

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