Tiger Woods receives USGA's Bob Jones Award. GETTY IMAGES

The 15-time major winner, who returned to competition last month at the age of 48 after undergoing ankle surgery last year, has been awarded the United States Golf Association's highest honour. Woods will receive the award at a ceremony at Pinehurst during the US Open in June.

Tiger Woods is on his way to becoming a legend. His perseverance and consistency have earned him a privileged place among the greatest athletes in history, winning a total of 15 majors, the most prestigious and important tournaments in the world. 

He has redefined golf as a reference for generations. It is for all these reasons that the United States Golf Association has decided to honour him this Saturday with the highest award the institution can bestow, the Bob Jones Award. 

The 48-year-old American returned to the PGA Tour last month after undergoing ankle surgery following the Masters last April. The operation was to relieve pain caused by a car accident. It is this perseverance to return to competition when he has won everything and at his age that makes him special. 

"This award goes beyond the performance on the course. It recognises the lasting impact of an individual's journey that has forever changed the image and growth of golf," USGA CEO Mike Whan said in a statement reported by AFP.

Woods returned to competitive golf in January after undergoing ankle surgery. GETTY IMAGES
Woods returned to competitive golf in January after undergoing ankle surgery. GETTY IMAGES

"There are very few who can match Tiger Woods in terms of what he has done on the course. He is in a class of his own when it comes to the impact he has had on the game and the future generations who will play it," he added.

The announcement came as the USGA announced that the 2036 US Open and US Women's Open will be played at Shinnecock Hills, the Long Island venue hosting the back-to-back events. 

It will be only the third time that both US Opens have been played on the same course in consecutive weeks. Pinehurst did it in 2014 and is ready to do it again in 2029. Shinnecock has hosted the US Open five times. It will be back in 2026.

Woods was presented with the Bob Jones Award, named after the co-founder of the Masters, a player who was a legend and star of the 1920s when he won 13 titles in what were then the four major events, including five US Amateurs and four US Opens. Jones, like Woods, won nine USGA titles. Woods won three US Junior Amateurs, three US Amateurs and three US Opens.

"Bob Jones was a pillar of our game because of the integrity with which he played it. I am truly honoured to receive the award that bears his name and to join the many who have received it before me and who continue his legacy," Woods said in a statement. "It is especially fitting to receive this award from the USGA. The USGA has meant so much to my career and the game of golf.

Previous recipients of the Bob Jones Award include Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Annika Sorenstam. Woods won the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2000, setting a record with a 15-stroke victory, and won the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2008 despite suffering a broken leg. Woods will be honoured at an awards ceremony in June at Pinehurst during this year's US Open.