Emotional Tiger Woods thanks fans for getting him through ‘highs and lows’ as he’s awarded Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump

TEARFUL Tiger Woods could barely contain his emotion last night as he thanked fans at a White House ceremony where Donald Trump awarded him the Medal of Freedom.

The golf ace, 43, stunned the world after coming back from the brink of a career collapse to secure a staggering fifth Masters title at Augusta National last month.

 An emotional Tiger Woods last night thanked fans, friends and family for getting him through the 'highs and lows' of his career

EPA
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An emotional Tiger Woods last night thanked fans, friends and family for getting him through the 'highs and lows' of his career
 Woods, 43, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump at the White House

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Woods, 43, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump at the White House
 Tiger, 43, was emotional during the ceremony as he paid tribute to his mum and his late father

AP:Associated Press
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Tiger, 43, was emotional during the ceremony as he paid tribute to his mum and his late father

Tiger Woods wins The Masters 2019

It capped off a spectacular return to his mind-bending best following an 11-year Majors drought which was plagued with injury – and high-profile personal problems off the course.

Addressing his struggle, Woods thanked those who have supported him over the years.

Speaking from the White House's Rose Garden in front of keen fan Mr Trump, the World Number Two said: "You've seen the good and bad, the highs and lows.

"And I would not be in this position without all of your help."

 President Trump described Tiger as a 'true legend' during the ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House

Reuters
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President Trump described Tiger as a 'true legend' during the ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House
 Trump, a keen golfer, announced he would award Tiger the highest US civilian honour after his stunning Masters victory last month

Reuters
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Trump, a keen golfer, announced he would award Tiger the highest US civilian honour after his stunning Masters victory last month
 Tiger came back from the brink to stun the world by winning a staggering fifth Masters title

AP:Associated Press
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Tiger came back from the brink to stun the world by winning a staggering fifth Masters title

Woods recalled his breakthrough triumph at Augusta 22 years ago – which the then 21-year-old celebrated with his father and mentor Earl, who died in 2006.

He said: "In '97, yes, I won the Masters and I ended up hugging my dad and my mom."

His voice cracking with emotion, Woods added: "My dad is no longer here but my mom is here – I love you mom", referring to mum Kutilda.

He went on to thank his two children – daughter, Sam Alexis, 11, and son, Charlie Axel, 10 – as well as girlfriend Erica Herman.

 Trump praised golfing legend Tiger, whose career seemed to be in tatters during an 11-year Major drought plagued with personal problems and injuries

Reuters
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Trump praised golfing legend Tiger, whose career seemed to be in tatters during an 11-year Major drought plagued with personal problems and injuries
 President Trump and Tiger Woods at the White House ceremony last night

Reuters
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President Trump and Tiger Woods at the White House ceremony last night
 Tiger proudly poses with his family and the President and First Lady Melania

The Mega Agency
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Tiger proudly poses with his family and the President and First Lady Melania
 Tiger's girlfriend Erica Herman smiles as the golfer is awarded the highest civilian honour in the US

AFP or licensors
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Tiger's girlfriend Erica Herman smiles as the golfer is awarded the highest civilian honour in the US

Tiger Woods celebrates Masters victory by hugging son Charlie, 22 years after he did same with his dad

Woods added: "The amazing Masters experience I just had a few weeks ago certainly is part of the highlight of what I've accomplished in my life on the golf course."

Trump, a keen golfer, described the 15-times Major champion as a "a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive".

Woods joined Arnold Palmer, Charlie Sifford and Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers to have received the award – the highest civilian honour in the United States.

 Tiger stunned the world as he marked his phenomenal golfing comeback to win the US Masters at Augusta National last month

Reuters
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Tiger stunned the world as he marked his phenomenal golfing comeback to win the US Masters at Augusta National last month
 Woods won his fifth Masters title - and his 15th Major - last month

Alamy Live News
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Woods won his fifth Masters title – and his 15th Major – last month

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will award Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom after the comeback fifth Masters win

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It is given annually to people who have made outstanding contributions to the security or national interests of the US.

The medal is also given out for contributions towards world peace – or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours.

Since taking office Trump has given the award to several US athletes – including NFL players Roger Staubach and Alan Page.

Previous recipients include Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Aretha Franklin, Robert De Niro, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley.

The only other golfers to receive the award are Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charles Sifford, the first African American to play on the professional tour in the 1950s.

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Tiger Wood's £50m Florida mansion with a four-hole golf practice area and a 100ft swimming pool

TEARFUL Tiger Woods could barely contain his emotion last night as he thanked fans at a White House ceremony where Donald Trump awarded him the Medal of Freedom.