Bridgestone Golf president and CEO Angel Ilagan probably loves seeing Tiger Woods in first place at the Hero World Challenge on Friday. 

"Tiger coming back is really beneficial for us," Ilagan told TheStreet ahead of Woods' long-awaited return at this week's Hero World Challenge after extensive back surgery. "But frankly, he benefits us because of his endorsement value -- he is one of the few celebrity athletes out there whose endorsement matters and in golf, he is probably the only one who makes a difference."

After Nike (NKE) left the golf equipment business in 2016, Bridgestone was able to secure Woods (who used Nike golf balls) as a spokesperson for its golf balls.

Meanwhile, Ilagan -- a decent golfer in his own right -- agrees with Woods' recent call to deaden the golf ball on tour. Woods thinks golf ball technology has gotten so advanced that increased yardage off the tee has made the game less of a challenge. 

"We are not in disagreement with him, he is right to some extent, but what we are looking at is what is the right ball for all of golf," Ilagan explained. That right ball is probably anything Woods is hitting 350 yards off the tee later this week.

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