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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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Morning 9: Morikawa! | Kang wins another as Ko crumbles | Sullivan | Lynch: Brooks’ verbal sparring is a good thing

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1. PGA Championship: Morikawa breaks through
Bursting forth from a pack of golfers thicker than the marine layer enveloping TPC Harding Park, Collin Morikawa vaulted to victory with an incredible drive onto the par-4 16th’s green to set up a tournament-clenching eagle putt.
  • AP report…”Collin Morikawa delivered a shot that will go down as one of the best in a major that hardly anyone witnessed, setting up an eagle on the 16th hole Sunday that carried him to the most quiet PGA Championship ever.”
  • “In the first major without spectators, Morikawa finished with a bang.”
  • “He was among seven players tied for the lead on the back nine at Harding Park, as wild as any Sunday in a major. Morikawa chipped in from 40 feet on the 14th hole to take the lead, and then he ended it with one swing. On the 294-yard 16th hole, Morikawa hit driver that hopped onto the green and settled 7 feet below the cup.”
  • “He made it for eagle and was on his way. Morikawa closed with a 6-under 64, the lowest final round by a PGA champion in 25 years, and took his place among the young stars taking over golf.”
Our Ron Montesano with more of the story in numbered form
  • “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.”
2. Ko falls apart, Kang triumphs
Insane stuff at the Marathon Classic as Lydia Ko carded a final-hole double-bogey 7 to lose by a stroke to Danielle Kang. Alternatively, impressive final-round 68 from DK for her second straight victory….AP report…”Five shots behind with six holes to play, Danielle Kang won her second straight LPGA Tour event on Sunday when Lydia Ko took double bogey on the final hole in the Marathon Classic.”
  • “Kang began her rally with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes at Highland Meadows, and then all she needed were pars the rest of the way for a 3-under 68, all because of Ko’s shocking collapse.”
  • “…on the closing par 5, Ko fell apart. She hit her chip through the green. With a slightly uphill lie in patchy rough, Ko muffed the chip and watched it roll into a bunker. She blasted that out to 10 feet and missed the putt that would have forced a playoff. She wound up with a 73.”
3. Andy Sullivan!
Gotta be delighted to see Sully hoisting a trophy again! AP report…”An emotional Andy Sullivan ended a near five-year wait for his fourth European Tour title as he recorded a seven-shot victory at the English Championship in Ware on Sunday.”
  • “Heading into the final round at Hanbury Manor with a five-shot advantage, Sullivan saw his lead cut to just two by Spain’s Adrian Otaegui (66).”
  • “But while his challenger faltered over the closing stages, Sullivan recorded four birdies on the back nine to shoot a 6-under 65 for a 27-under 257 total.”
4. Never a factor, Tiger at least finished strong (and made putts)
Golfweek’s Steve DiMeglio…”Starting his final 18 at TPC Harding Park under a thick marine layer that clouded objects 200 yards away, Woods was shrouded in somewhat of a stupor from humdrum play in the second and third rounds. But there was pop in his step from the first tee onward and the 15-time major winner turned in an upbeat performance with a 3-under-par 67 and finished with rounds of 68-72-72-67 to end at 1 under for the tournament, just his second in six months.”
  • “Woods was much sharper with all aspects of his game, especially with his putting, which had been dull throughout the week as he struggled with the speed of the greens. Woods needed just 25 putts in the final round – six fewer than the 31 he took in both the second and third rounds.”
  • “I drove it kind of like I did on Friday, and my irons were a little bit more crisp and I hit better putts,” Woods said. “I made a few early on, and just kind of kept the momentum going. It’s something I hadn’t done the last two days, and it was an under-par tournament score, which yesterday I was saying that’s kind of what I wanted to do. I made it happen today.”
5. Koepka: “Wasn’t meant to be”
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Brooks Koepka finally ran out of major momentum.”
  • “Seeking to become the first player in more than 60 years to win the same major three years in a row, and the first to do it at the PGA Championship since the 1920s, Koepka began the final round just two shots off the lead. But while low scores were abundant and several players rolled in birdies while jockeying for position, the two-time defending champ came up empty.”
  • …”Hey, wasn’t meant to be,” Koepka said. “Three in a row, you’re not really supposed to do two in a row looking at history. But that’s all right. Got two more (majors) the rest of the season and we’ll figure it out from there.”
6. Speaking of Koepka…Eamon Lynch says his “verbal jousting…is good for golf”
A morsel from a piece well forth consuming in full…“Koepka has long been an enthusiastic practitioner of the dark art of psych ops, and generous in his targeting. While Tiger Woods treated opponents with an icy aloofness, barely acknowledging their existence at times, Koepka pokes around in search of a frailty, preferably one that manifests itself in an agitated mind under pressure on a Sunday afternoon. His instruments of choice are press conferences and social media posts, but these are not throwaway comments or tweets. Nothing that exits Koepka’s mouth – not one syllable – isn’t premeditated.”
  • “Mind games are as much a weapon in Koepka’s arsenal as his driver, and that isn’t necessarily as popular among his peers as it is among golf fans who crave a little conflict, and reporters thirsty for a good quote.”
7. U.S. Women’s Am. 
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…“The second longest final in U.S. Women’s Amateur history came down to just 3 feet.”
  • “Rose Zhang, a 17-year-old from Irvine, Calif., fully expected to be heading to a 38th hole in Sunday’s championship bout with USC senior and reigning champion Gabriela Ruffels at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. Instead, Ruffels’ bid to become the championship’s first repeat winner since Danielle Kang in 2011 came to a shocking and sudden end.”
  • “Her 3-foot par save to extend the match was halfway in the hole before it lipped out harshly, leaving a dejected Ruffels to scoop up her ball in defeat.”
8. Travel restrictions separate the Clarkes for 5 months
Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal, with a fairly wild story…”When his wife Alison left Newport Beach, California, on March 8, Darren Clarke could not have imagined they would spend the next five months apart.”
  • “After he completed the final round of the PGA Tour Champions’ Hoag Classic, she flew to their home in Portrush, Northern Ireland, just before international travel was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Clarke found himself alone at their place at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in the Bahamas from March 14 until five weeks ago, when their eldest son Tyrone managed to join him.”
  • “The Clarkes were an ocean away on their eighth wedding anniversary on April 11.”
  • “So Clarke’s excitement to return to Firestone Country Club for the first time in nine years for this week’s Bridgestone Senior Players Championship might be superseded by the fact that Alison will join him in Akron on Saturday night.”
9. Morikawa’s winning WITB
Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 degrees @ 13.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX
Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4, 5), TaylorMade P730 (6-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09SB), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (56-14F), TaylorMade MG2 Hi-Toe (60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: TaylorMade TP Soto Prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord

 

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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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