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How Tiger Woods' epic comeback is putting cash in Bubba Watson's pocket

Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large

Golf superstar Bubba Watson is happy his friend Tiger Woods is back at the top of the golfing world. Not just because it’s good for the game, but also because it has been helpful to Watson’s own bottom line.

“We bought a driving range in Pensacola where I live, just the range ball sales the Monday after [Tiger’s latest Masters win] we set a record and we set one Tuesday,” the two-time Masters champion Watson told Yahoo Finance Wednesday. “Tiger pushes the sport.” Watson, who has his hands in a bunch of different businesses, including a car dealership and minor league baseball team, has partnered with cbdMD, which makes cannabis products.

Woods’ epic comeback culminated with him winning this year’s Masters after a long major championship drought. Others in the golfing world have also felt the Tiger effect in similar fashion to Watson.

TaylorMade CEO David Abeles told Yahoo Finance recently that online sales right after Woods’ big Masters win surged almost three times the normal average. Abeles expects Woods’ success to have a profound impact on the sport in coming months.

“My time over the past 24 hours has undeniably been busier and more intense around this victory than in my 25 years in golf,” said Abeles a few days after Woods’ win.

The irons Woods used to shape some of his amazing shots: the TaylorMade P7TW. That’s right, not sticks made from long-time Woods sponsor Nike, which decided to exit the golf equipment space in 2016.

“I do anticipate golf retail specifically to pick up,” he said. “We’re seeing it within our own e-commerce business right now, where we are seeing 2-3X the volumes come to our website to express interest and ultimately purchase P7TW products.”

In short, excitement around Woods could lead people back into the sport (and in the market for equipment), similar to the effect during Woods’ heyday in the early 2000s. It has also sent investors back into the market for golf stocks: shares of Callaway Golf and Titleist brand owner Acushnet have each surged about 10% since Woods’ Masters win.

Or in the case of Watson, in the market for more range balls at his driving range.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of ‘The First Trade’ at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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