(White House Press Release, March 6, 2020)
President Donald J. Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Annika Sorenstam and Gary J. Player on March 23, 2020. They will join Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Charlie Sifford, and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This prestigious award is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, which may be awarded by the President 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.
The world knows Annika on a first-name basis after her legendary 15-year professional golf career that broke world records and forever changed the way women’s golf is played. Annika earned her way into the World Golf Hall of Fame after becoming the only player in Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour history to shoot 59, achieve 89 worldwide victories (including 72 LPGA and 10 Major Championships), and be awarded prestigious titles including the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year and the Golf Writers Association of America Female Athlete of the Year. In 2008, Annika stepped beyond professional golf to focus on her family, foundation, and brand. Annika is an athlete, philanthropist, and entrepreneur who has committed her life to winning.
Gary J. Player is a men’s golf legend who has won 165 professional golf tournaments worldwide and is one of only five men to ever capture golf’s coveted Career Grand Slam. Player won nine Major championships on the Regular Tour, nine Major championships on the Senior Tour, and is the only player in history to complete the career Grand Slam on both Tours. His Player Foundation and the Gary Player Invitational raise substantial sums of money for underprivileged children across the globe. Player is a recipient of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour’s Lifetime Achievement Award and currently serves as the Global Ambassador to the World Golf Hall of Fame.