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Trump says Tiger Woods 'will be back' after car crash: A look at ex-POTUS' friendship with his golf buddy

'He has overcome a lot, but he has had an incredible life and he is going to continue to have an incredible life,' Trump said after Woods' car crash
UPDATED FEB 24, 2021
Ex-president Donald Trump gives golfer and business partner Tiger Woods the Medal of Freedom in 2019 (Getty Images)
Ex-president Donald Trump gives golfer and business partner Tiger Woods the Medal of Freedom in 2019 (Getty Images)

Former president Donald Trump, who awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods following his victory at the Masters Tournament in 2019, prayed for his speedy recovery after the golfer got into a major car crash in Los Angeles County, Southern California, on Tuesday, February 23. 

"He has overcome a lot, but he has had an incredible life and he is going to continue to have an incredible life," Trump told 'Fox News Primetime' host Katie Pavlich. "He will recover from this... he will figure out a way." Trump described the timing of the accident as "tragic". "He won the Masters with a bad back which tells you the level of talent is incredible," he said. "And he has been working on that, and then has this happened, it's just tragic, tragic."


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Donald Trump poses with Tiger Woods after the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at the Trump Doral Golf Resort & Spa on March 10, 2013, in Doral, Florida (Getty Images)

The ex-POTUS reminisced about his longtime friendship with Woods and that the athlete was "always great to me and I've always felt the same with him — I've always just liked him. We had good chemistry and always have." "He will be back. I have no doubt about it. He will be back. He knows how to do it and I have no doubt. All I say is get better and get out there, because we all miss him. We need Tiger."

Trump and Woods' friendship

The friendship between Trump and Woods goes back to his pre-presidency days. Woods has reportedly spent hours on the golf course with Trump, who is an avid golfer himself. The athlete has never shied away from acknowledging his relationship with the 45th POTUS. 

On occasions, he has also defended Trump during the last four years, saying that one had to respect the man in the presidential office. “He’s the president of the United States,” Woods said at the Northern Trust golf tournament, according to “You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality, or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”

Former resident Donald Trump walks to the Rose Garden with professional golfer and business partner Tiger Woods before Woods was presented with the Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House May 6, 2019, in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

While other people from the sports and entertainment industry either cut ties with Trump or openly had feuds with him, Woods stood his ground and spoke candidly about the bond he shared with the ex-president. "Well, I've known Donald for a number of years," Woods told Business Insider. "We’ve played golf together. We've had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency."

After Woods' interview, Trump praised him for his answer and honesty. “The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game — he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!” Trump also congratulated the golfer with a tweet after Woods took home a huge victory at the Masters' tournament. “Love people who are great under pressure. What a fantastic life comeback for a really great guy!” he said. And in remarks prior to handing Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Trump hailed him as "a global symbol of American excellence, devotion, and drive".

Business partners

Trump also partnered with Woods on a number of business dealings. One of the biggest was Woods designing a golf course for Trump’s Dubai property. In 2018, a spokesman for Woods emphasized that Woods’ involvement is solely with the property developer DAMAC Properties and that he “can’t put it any clearer that Tiger Woods Design does not have an agreement with Mr. Trump". However, after the design deal was announced, Trump took to Twitter to post links calling it their “partnership in Dubai” and saying Woods is “working for” him.

Also in 2014, the golfer announced the Tiger Woods Charity Playoffs, revealing one of the regional qualifying games would be at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Around the same time, Trump also inaugurated the Tiger Woods Villa at the Trump National Doral in Florida. The former president has also promoted his golf properties by boasting about the times Woods played at one of them.

Woods is 'awake' after surgery and recovering well

Woods was alone during the car crash near the Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes neighborhoods of Los Angeles. According to officials, the crash occurred at 7.12 am and the vehicle sustained "major damage". Woods was conscious and in stable condition when he was removed from the car and transported to Harbor UCLA Hospital, with multiple injuries to both his legs.


In an official statement posted on his Twitter page, his reps said that the golfer was "awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room" after having a rod put into his leg during surgery. Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer and interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said in the statement that Woods "suffered significant orthopedic injuries to his right lower extremity" that were treated in emergency surgery. The rod was inserted into his tibia to stabilize fractures and screws and pins were used to stabilize injuries to the foot and ankle.