Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player and Babe Zaharias, were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump.

Annika, Gary and the president of the Babe Zaharias Foundation accepted the medals from the former president himself at the White House yesterday morning (Thursday, January 7).

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is considered to be the United States’ highest civilian honour, but the ceremony was closed to the press.

Taking place just a day after pro-Trump rioters invaded the US Capitol in a violent protest, many have questioned whether the ceremony should have taken place at all, and Annika and Gary themselves have been criticised for accepting the awards.

Five people died in the riots, including one police officer who was "injured while physically engaging with protesters".

The Democratic party has since accused Trump of inciting the violence, as the invasion came just hours after Trump encouraged his supporters to fight against the election results, which he claimed were fraudulent.

Gary's son, Marc, who is known to have a strained relationship with his father, tweeted his dismay saying: “Unbelievable! Tone deaf. In denial. I wish my father would simply & politely decline this."

USA Today columnist Cristine Brennan stated that Annika, who is widely considered to be the greatest the greatest female golfer of all time, and Gary, who is the only American to have won all four of the men's majors, had both 'shamed golf' by accepting the awards.

“As representatives of their game, and as business people who benefit greatly from it, their reputations are sullied, forever,” she wrote.

“Sorenstam and Player now will be attached to Trump at this horrible time in our nation’s history.”

Zaharias, who was honoured 65 years after her death, won gold medals in the 80-meter hurdles and javelin throw at the 1932 Olympics before turning her attentions to golf. Like Annika, she won 10 major championships and she's also the only woman ever to make a cut in a PGA Tour event (she did it three times too).

Sorenstam openly supported Trump in his failed re-election bid, and others on social media have called her and Gary's acceptance of the medals as "stupid" and "despicable". Several golf fans have also vowed to boycott Annika's clothing brand Cutter & Buck.

What do you think? Should Annika and Gary have refused the awards? Was this career suicide for both of them?

And perhaps most importantly, is this yet another example of golf 'shooting itself in the foot'?