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Tiger Woods headed to White House next week for Medal of Freedom ceremony

By Devan Cole and Kaitlan Collins, CNN

(CNN) -- Tiger Woods will visit the White House next week, where he will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump, press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday.

In a tweet, Sanders said that Woods, who won his fifth Masters title last month, will receive the nation's highest civilian honor next Monday during an invitation-only ceremony.

Following Woods' win last month, Trump said in a tweet that he had congratulated the golfer on the win and announced that he would be giving him the award.

"Spoke to @TigerWoods to congratulate him on the great victory he had in yesterday's @TheMasters, & to inform him that because of his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE, I will be presenting him with the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM!" the tweet read.

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. Since taking office, Trump has presented the award to numerous athletes, including Alan Page, Roger Staubach, and a posthumous award to Babe Ruth.

Woods' victory marked his first Masters victory in 14 years, after a series of back problems and personal problems threatened to end his career.

In 2017, he underwent a spinal fusion surgery, and was later arrested and charged with driving under the influence. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and was put on a diversion program, returning to the circuit in 2018.

Trump, an avid golfer, has joined Woods on the green before, including in February, when the pair, along with pro golfer Jack Nicklaus, were photographed on a course in Florida.

The two were also photographed together in December 2016 on a Trump-owned course in Palm Beach.

Last August, Woods told Yahoo Sports that he's known Trump "for a number of years," and defended the President when asked about Trump's sometimes tense relationship with professional athletes.

"Well, he's the President of the United States," Woods told Yahoo. "You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office."

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mcgees 169 days ago
Sounds fair. Cheated on his wife just like high and crashed car. That deserves a medal. Wonder if Melania will be there.
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