Sport

Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam honoured by Donald Trump with Medal of Freedom

Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam honoured by Donald Trump with Medal of Freedom”

(CNN)President Donald Trump attempts a surreal return to normalcy a day after inciting a mob of his supporters to riot, culminating in the first breach the US Capitol in 200 years.

President Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to Babe Didrikson Zaharias and also presented the honor to fellow golfers Annika Sörenstam and Gary Player during a White House ceremony Thursday. The event was not open to the media.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is only awarded an average of 11 times per year. The White House announced in March that Sorenstam and Player would receive the honor, but the ceremony was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Swedish legend recorded 90 worldwide victories and 72 LPGA Tour tournament wins.

Her groundbreaking professional golf career came after an outstanding amateur sports career. A 2003 Women's Golf Hall of Fame inductee, her 72 LGPA Tour wins are third-most all-time. Zaharias won 10 major golfing championships, helped found the LGPA, and won two gold medals and one silver in track and field events at the 1932 Olympics.

Zaharias, born Mildred Didrikson, earned the nickname "Babe" because the boys who played baseball with her thought she hit like Babe Ruth.

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During her dominating career, Sorenstam won three ANA Inspiration tournaments, three Women's PGA Championships, three U.S. Women's Open titles and one Women's British Open.

South Africa's Player, 85, is one of just five players to complete a career Grand Slam, capturing all four of golf's modern major titles.

Zaharias was still a top-ranked professional golfer when she died from cancer in 1956.

"Her towering legacy will shine forever in the history of American athletics", McEnany said.

According to GolfChannel.com (per the New York Post), the ceremony "included 50-60 people and went off 'without a hitch.'" The report notes that both Player and Sorenstam played golf with Trump in 2019.



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