Golf: Tiger's $5 Masters golf ball could fetch over $600,000 if sold

Woods after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win the Masters. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - When Tiger Woods' final Masters putt went down, the value of his memorabilia went way up.

Woods's victory on Sunday at Augusta National marks "the greatest comeback in sports history," according to Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin, who says prices for anything worn or used by the 15-time major winner would likely eclipse what he called the glory days of 2002-2008.

"Tiger Woods is all the way back and more," said Goldin, adding that he's already fielded inquiries from collectors seeking to buy and sell Tiger-related memorabilia.

Among the most sought-after items, Goldin said, are used putters and clubs.

That said, one item would draw particular interest: the ball Woods was using when he sank the championship-clinching putt on the 18th hole.

According to Goldin, the Bridgestone ball would be worth around US$200,000. However, "because you're dealing with such a wealthy group of fans," it's conceivable that would-be buyers would pay US$500,000 (S$670,000) for it, Goldin said.

It is not clear if the ball will go up for auction, though. Woods pulled it out of the cup on Sunday and put it in his pants pocket.

Woods, 43, has played with Bridgestone balls since 2016. The Japanese tyre and sporting-goods maker sells a 12-pack of its Tour B XS golf balls for US$44.99, or about US$3.75 apiece, according to its website.

It was the first major title since 2008 for Woods, once golf's most dominant figure until a high-profile sex scandal, divorce and multiple surgeries led to a very public fall from grace.

There were occasional doubts, even from Woods himself, about whether he would ever play again, let alone compete at the highest level.

"Unfortunately, we haven't had the opportunity to sell Tiger memorabilia in the glory days," Goldin said.

"I'm looking forward to selling it towards the up time."

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