US President Donald Trump awarded golfer Tiger Woods the nation's highest civilian honour, describing the 43-year-old as a "true legend" who transformed golf and then fought through years of injury to return to the sport's summit.
Trump awarded Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He's the fourth golfer to earn that distinction and certainly the youngest.
While Woods dominated the sport for more than a decade, he won his first major in nearly 11 years at last month's Masters Tournament, a comeback that captivated the sporting world.
"Tiger was back on top," Trump declared during the Rose Garden ceremony.
If there were a Mount Rushmore for golfers, Woods would almost certainly be on it. He ranks second in PGA Tour wins and in major tournament victories.
Woods was joined at the ceremony by his mother, his children and girlfriend Erica Herman. Woods' longtime caddie, Joe LaCava, also attended.
Woods became emotional as he spoke of his parents, and he 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."
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. Presidents have complete discretion over whom they honour with the medal.
Some athletes and sports champions have resisted visiting the Trump White House because of their differences with the president.
Rick Reilly, who wrote a book about Trump's golfing entitled Commander in Cheat, said Woods has brought golf to people of colour all over the world.
Australian Associated Press