Bridgestone Golf CEO Says It's Time To 'standardize' The Ball In The Professional Game

Tiger Woods has only completed one PGA Tour event in the year since Bridgestone Golf signed him to a long-term deal to use its golf balls.

Since Woods signed his deal with Bridgestone, he has missed all four majors, underwent his fourth back surgery, got arrested for DUI, pled guilty to reckless driving, entered a pre-trial diversion program, completed “an intensive drug treatment” rehab, helped the victorious U.S. Presidents Cup as an assistant captain and shared his physical comeback on social media.

By the way, Woods will be playing in the Hero World Challenge in December.

Bridgestone Golf CEO Angel Ilagan said no matter how well or poorly Woods plays in the Bahamas and beyond, the company has done well with its deal.

“The payoff has already occurred for us,” Ilagan told Yahoo Finance. “His endorsement value is what’s really important for us. He picked our ball as the best ball out there. This is just added gravy for us if he plays.”

Woods has not won a PGA Tour event since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and has been “stuck” on 14 major titles since 2008.

Nike Golf, which previously had Woods under an equipment contract, gained traction and dollars with Woods as an endorser for years. But two years ago, the company decided to get out of the golf equipment business and focus solely on golf apparel and footwear.

Ilagan sees Woods as a sure winner on the endorsement circuit.

Woods is “the only golfer in the history of golf that has actually had a positive financial impact” on the sport, he said.

That sort of hyperbole ignores the legacy of successful golf/businessmen Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, among others.

But if Ilagan thinks Woods is working for him, who are we to argue?


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