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President Trump to award Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom following “incredible comeback in sports and life”

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On Monday, following Tiger Woods’ victory at the 2019 Masters, President Donald Trump announced that the 15-time major champion would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Along with the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award of the United States, and Woods will become the fourth golfer in history to receive the medal.

President George W. Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to both Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, while President Barack Obama bestowed the award upon Charlie Sifford in 2014.

President John. F. Kennedy established the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, and it is an award which on average is handed out just 11 times per year.

 

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at gianni@golfwrx.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. bj

    Apr 17, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Agent Orange strikes again

  2. Joe

    Apr 17, 2019 at 1:02 am

    As a Navy veteran, I’ll side with General Matts when he declares trump is an idiot. Mattis will salute Clinton, Bush, and Obama, but won’t salute Trump. He might know a little more about the current president than the hacks around here.

  3. Harry Hoopla

    Apr 16, 2019 at 8:44 am

    The Presidental Medal of Freedom is a joke. For christ sake Ellen DeGeneres has one.

  4. Patty McReederson

    Apr 16, 2019 at 8:33 am

    A Presidential Medal of Freedom? Really?? I think an honorary European Tour Membership is more in line here..

  5. Jose Pinatas

    Apr 16, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Sigh… go away Trump. If he goes away, I will. Maybe worth it for some of you…

  6. Imissalot

    Apr 15, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    What an honor for Tiger to get this from possibly the greatest president to ever hold the office!

    • Aj

      Apr 16, 2019 at 7:40 pm

      Idiot

    • Boyo

      Apr 18, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      Your handle says it all!

      Unfortunately you and your ilk procreate at a 4 to 1 level to the more intelligent people in this country.

  7. Seth Riser

    Apr 15, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    No one deserves this award more than Tiger Woods. I hope he waits a couple years and receives it from a real president and not a self-aggrandizing buffoon.

  8. Pelling

    Apr 15, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    It’s a shame that the President has to insert himself into Tiger’s story, and ride on Tiger’s coattails. On his own, Trump is a loser, a cheater at golf, and no one wants to have anything to do with him. Maybe by 2020 we will be done with the orange clown and he can employ a foot wedge on his own ball at his own golf course where illegal immigrants toil in violation of the law.

    • Snowflake

      Apr 15, 2019 at 7:07 pm

      Most of the pga tour supports this great president. Look it up for yourself. Your opinion is only respected at munis, where you probably spend your time playing

      • bc

        Apr 15, 2019 at 7:56 pm

        Yes they support him because he is all about helping the rich get richer, and since most of them are millionaires they like that plan!

        • Mad-Mex

          Apr 15, 2019 at 10:50 pm

          Name the last poor person you ever worked for,,,,,,,,, I love his plan and no, I am not rich, just your average ex-illegal who became legal,served for 20+ years, made some smart investments and after 20 year in Fed. Law Enforcement, will retire next year at age 60 on about $7,500 a month.

          • Nyt

            Apr 16, 2019 at 1:45 am

            Well done sir, congratulations on your success in life.

          • Jose Pinatas

            Apr 16, 2019 at 8:17 am

            7500 a month? That’s rich bro.

            • Mad-Mex

              Apr 16, 2019 at 8:30 pm

              Thank You,,,,,
              Did not do it alone, great woman next to me. Discussing part is I am considered a “traitor” and sell out by several family members because I don’t “share” my good “luck”.

      • Big Bad Wolf

        Apr 15, 2019 at 11:07 pm

        President Eisenhower and broadcast TV help create and promote “Munis” to help the game grow. Private country clubs did nothing but perpetuate exclusiveness and status as it has done from the beginning. If there were no “Munis” the PGA and LPGA Tour would be missing many great players today!

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Collin Morikawa wins first major title at 2020 PGA Championship

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We’ve had a decade or so of driveable par-4 holes in major championships, thanks to a newfound appreciation for traditional course setups and, let’s be honest, fun. The PGA of America decided to make the 16th hole one of those holes on Sunday, and what a fine decision that turned out to be. We’ll get to that tidbit in a bit.

As happens at most major championships, golfers fade away far more frequently than they rise up. We’ll also get to those unfortunate souls. Regular tour events are one thing, but the return of major championship golf is quite another. Let’s talk about who did what, when, and where, on championship Sunday at TPC Harding Park.

1. Collin Morikawa drove the 16th green and …

…left himself an eight-foot putt for eagle. And he made it! You’ve seen it, and you’ll see it again and again. Kind of like Christian Laettner’s half-court shot against Duke, or Jack’s putt on 17 at Augusta. Morikawa set up for a baby cut on the antepenultimate hole and executed it to perfection. The ball bounced once in the fairway, once on the green, then rolled up the putting surface to three yards below the hole. His stroke was pure and the putt for the deuce never looked like anything but stellar. The eagle gave him a two-shot lead over Paul Casey with two holes left.

2. Collin Morikawa put on a short-game clinic on Sunday

You don’t shoot a six-under 64 without holing a bit of this and a bit of that. Morikawa made a few longish putts for par in the early going, keeping himself in the thick of the contest. On the 14th hole, Morikawa hit a weekend-golfer sort of approach …WITH A WEDGE! Unphased by leaving it 10 yards short of the green, Morikawa pitched his third on the par-4 hole to the green, where it rolled into the hole for birdie to reach 11 under par. The pitch-in set the stage for the fireworks yet to come.

3. Collin Morikawa broke the Wannamaker trophy

For those who don’t know, the winner’s trophy for the U.S. PGA championship is really heavy. It’s kind of hilarious that the lid is not affixed to the chalice part. Morikawa found that out the hard way, as he lifted it above his shoulders, albeit slightly akimbo. That was all it took for the lid to go sailing off toward Lake Merced. The nice thing about Morikawa is, he smiles a lot, and seems able to laugh at himself.

4. Paul Casey came up just shy of his first major

Casey was one of the first to congratulate Morikawa on his victory. The classy Englishman played superior golf on Sunday, posting 66 for his best round of the week. He posted five birdies against one bogey and reached 72 holes at 11 under par before anyone else. No one can deny that Casey did everything required to win an elusive major title. Unfortunately for him, he fell victim to two miraculous shots, late in the round, from the same golfer. Should Casey be considered a favorite next month at Winged Foot, at the U.S. Open? Absolutely.

5. Dustin Johnson came up just shy of his second major

DJ is moving into a club that most golfers would love to join, and one that he desperately wants to leave. He has one major title to his name, despite more than 20 tour victories and a winning streak of nearly fifteen years. Like Casey before him, Johnson played a solid final round. He had two bogeys on the day, which was two more than Morikawa had. Johnson made a birdie at the last, which is what champions do. Somehow, it wasn’t enough. Somehow, Johnson had earned yet another runner-up finish at a major, another top-ten, another big check. He deserves more, not pon de replay.

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5 things we learned Saturday at the PGA Championship

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We were sooooooo close to a Bryson-Brooks pairing on Sunday, but we can’t have it all. Through three days in San Francisco, we have a host of long putts, hole outs, terrific vistas, and William Watson-designed golf holes. It can’t get much better, but just wait. One round remains, and it promises to be memorable.

Current and former major title holders populate the top dozen, where only three strokes separate golfer one from golfer twelve. We learned a few new things on Saturday, and are delighted to share five things we learned with you.

1. This 360 degree, slo-mo driver thing earned its 15 minutes on Twitter

Raise a glass to @PGA for an attempt at something novel, something ingenious. The tweet of a first 360 degree I saw was Cameron Champ. That was also the last one I needed to see. The first time I saw wire-fu animation in The Matrix, I was blown to bits. Now, unless DJ and Rory do a Smith v. Anderson thing, a golf swing is a golf swing. No doubt having zero fans allowed producers to properly position cameras to make this happen. I’ll hang up and listen now.

2. It has been a while, Dustin Johnson

17 top-ten finishes in major championships, with one win. Yes, it is quite unbalanced. Simply put, Dustin Johnson should have more major titles than the 2016 US Open. After his win at Oakmont, DJ nearly won the Open championship the following month. Then came stairgate at Augusta, and the rise of Koepka, and Johnson became a bit of an afterthought. What will he need to do on Sunday to win? Drive the ball well. His game into, and on, the green is predicated on solid opportunities in the fairway. There’s no one who can drive it longer and straighter, so the ball and the tournament are in his pocket. If playing partner Scottie Scheffler has a rough go of it, in his first, final-pairing appearance in a major, Johnson will have an unwanted distraction.

3. Haotong’s demise may have been expected, but Fleetwood’s was not

Total transparency: I wrote that sub-heading before Fleetwood made birdie at the last, to squeak within three strokes of the leader. The English golfer has never finished inside the top 30 of a PGA Championship, so he has little positive experience there to draw on. However, his body of work in Ryder Cups and US Opens is quite good, so perhaps it will carry the day on Sunday at Harding Park. As for Haotong Li, he almost extended his run, until the final six holes did him in. Haotong was one under on the day, when he played holes 13 through 16 in plus four. His last birdie of the day came at ten, and Li finished the day at plus three. He heads into the final round at minus-five. He’s not out of it, but his odds got much longer on day three.

4. Scottie Scheffler makes a LOT of birdies

Eight birdies on day three, four on day two, and six on day one, add up to an average of 6 per day. Unfortunately for the former Texas Longhorn, he has made ten bogeys over that same span. He’s learning on the go, and if he can get to ten or eleven under, he might have a chance at the Wannamaker trophy. Statistically speaking, Scheffler is tied for second in shots gained, and is putting brilliantly. Who’s to say that he won’t pull out the miracle victory? He might be the Shaun Micheel of 2020.

5. Why each of these 12 guys might win

Johnson: the tall drink of palmetto water simply cannot have one major championship win in his career. Way too much talent.

Scheffler: exactly the type of guy who wins the PGA. The Jeff Sluman/Y.E.Yang/David Toms/Mark Brooks/Rich Beem of this era.

Champ: this era’s John Daly, minus the mullet and other backstories, but yes to the filthy-long driver who harnesses his talent for a week.

Morikawa: what better way to separate from Wolff, Hovland, Mitchell and the other young winners, than a major title?

Casey: few remember that he excommunicated himself from the European Ryder Cup team for a time. He’s past that rough patch and deserves a major.

Koepka: really? You need me to mansplain?

DeChambeau: no matter what, he’s super-smart and super-talented.  He can’t be discounted and is a worthy candidate.

Finau: needs to validate being selected for the 2018 Ryder Cup team. Golf talent~yes; Grit? Jury still out.

Rose: US Open-check. Olympic Golf-check. Needs more after his ill-fated decision to take the equipment money and run.

Day: injury took a lot out of him. Two PGA titles reads better than one.

Berger: No one has made more birdies than this guy, this season. If he lights it up with 63, he wins.

Fleetwood: his stumble has to be out of the way, if he is to win. Needs a lot of birdies on Sunday but, man, is he good!

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5 things we learned Friday at the PGA Championship

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The third round of the PGA is upon us, which means that Friday is in the books, and lessons have been learned. The front nine continues to produce more birdies and eagles than the back, so the golfer who saves strokes on the inward half will find an advantage over the weekend. A massive number of golfers tied for the 58th spot, which means that over 75 are through to the weekend. Four things were learned by this writer on day two of the 102nd PGA Championship, and you will learn them, too. As a bonus, the fifth thing learned today are the predictions made, in anticipation of a memorable Saturday at TPC-Harding Park.

1. The plight of the Englishman

England gave professional golf Harry Vardon, JH Taylor, James Braid, Ted Ray, Nick Faldo, Justin Rose, and Danny Willett. Their commonality is the major title. All won at least one. Another passel of flyers of St. George’s cross has been unable to gain membership into this organization, and they include some of today’s most known names: Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Paul Casey, and Ian Poulter. All have exhibited tremendous capacity in team and tour play, yet the illusory major championship has continued to elude them. This week, Tommy Fleetwood and the aforementioned Casey find themselves inside the top ten through 36 holes.

Fleetwood was the first to solve the back nine this week, with four birdies for 31. He was out in 33 strokes, where he had his lone, day-two bogey, and currently sits in 2nd position, at minus-six. Fleetwood’s closest brushes with major glory were 2018 at Shinnecock Hills, where he came 2nd at the US Open, and 2019 at the Open Championship, where Shane Lowry relegated him to another runner-up finish. Casey has two handfulls of top-ten finishes in the big four events, but has rarely challenged, late in the day. His trend is subtle but positive: 68 on day one and 67 on day two. The three-time US PGA Tour winner made more birdies on Thursday, but had a bogey and double count against him. On Friday, his work showed the type of consistency that will serve him well over the weekend. Three birdies against zero bogies brought him to minus-five total. If Casey or Fleetwood can play 36 holes the next two days in minus-six, he should find himself in the thick of things.

2. Haotong Li returns to the spotlight

There was a time, mid 2010s, when Haotong Li was on short lists to break through and win multple times, perhaps even a major. Li broke through at the China Open in 2016, then jumped up another level at the Dubai Desert Classic in 2018. The breakthrough stopped there, at least for a couple of years. Now, it’s 2020, the world has turned upside down at least once, and Haotong Li has the lead halfway through the PGA Championship. Much like his career to date, day two was a tale of of two halves. Over the first ten holes, Li logged five birdies; for the next eight holes, he held onto par and finished the day at 65 for a two-shot lead. No matter which of the six who sit a pair of strokes behind he plays with on Saturday, Li will have to reckon with his own potential and the magnitude of the moment.

3. In the hunt

Haotong Li can be forgiven for hearing the echoing footsteps of two former PGA champions, Brooks Koepka and Jason Day. Also at his heels are Justin Rose (US Open champion) and two of the hottest golfers on the planet, Tommy Fleetwood and Daniel Berger. From this vantage point, Koepka is the greatest threat. I might have written biggest, but that is currently Bryson #BigBangTheory DeChambeau. Concerns about his knee injury have gone away, and the four-time major title holder has the a known look in his eyes. Koepka went round in 68 strokes, and will play with Justin Rose in the third-last pairing. After them will come Berger and Day, with Fleetwood and Li as anchors.

4. Guys we will miss

The 36-hole cut came at one over par, and nearly 80 golfers moved on to round three. As for the rest, home they go. Catching trains and planes out of San Francisco are Rickie Fowler and Marc Leishman, two golfers always at the top of the predictions list, but yet to inscribe his name on a major-event chalice. Zach Johnson went from 66 to 76 and is down the road. Tyrrell Hatton and Joaquim Niemann are also checked out of their respective hotels, as are former PGA champions Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, and Jimmy Walker.

5. Prediction Time

Most likely to seize the 3rd-round lead: Koepka

Most likely to drop out of the top five: Rose

Most likely to drop out of the top ten: Li

Most likely to jump into the top five: Xander Schauffele (currentl t11 at minus-four)

Most likely to jump into the top ten: Hideki Matsuyama (currently t15 at minus-three)

Biggest round three surprise: Lanto Griffin, but we don’t know why

Golfer who will slowly fade away: Day

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