But it was his dramatic Masters victory at Augusta National Golf Club last month, ending an 11-year major championship drought, that capped a years-long comeback from injuries and drama in his personal life, including an arrest two years ago for driving under the influence.
At the ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, Trump called Woods a "global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive", an extraordinary golfer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
It has been awarded to almost three dozen sports figures including American golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, who were honoured by President George W. Bush.
He grew emotional while telling his mother he loved her and thanking his children, Samantha and Charlie, for their support. He has also bestowed the Medal of Freedom on three other athletes so far: football players Roger Staubach and Alan Page, and baseball legend Babe Ruth. He has also gone into business overseas with Mr. Woods, announcing in 2014 that the golfer would design a course in Dubai as part of a luxury residential megaproject that would be managed by the Trump Organization. At a ribbon cutting ceremony in 2014, Woods lavished praise on the future presidential candidate, calling changes he made to the club "phenomenal". The Trump Organization will operate the course owned by Damac Properties Dubai Co. when it's scheduled to open later this year.
Since then, Mr. Trump has named a villa after him at the Trump National Doral Miami.
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Trump has been known to cheat on the golf course, including, reportedly, during previous games with Woods.
Trump awarded Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "We've played golf together".
"He's the president of the United States". Trump said he was honouring the golf great, "because of his incredible success and comeback in sports, and more importantly, life". "Having my family by my side today is something I will never forget", Woods tweeted that day with a photo of his fifth Masters green jacket.
Woods said: "Well, I've known Donald for a number of years". "No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office". "You have to respect the office", Woods told reporters in August 2018 when asked about his relationship with Trump. We've had dinner together.
"Tiger Woods showed great class in the way he answered the question about the Office of the Presidency and me".