Leading Off

Tiger Woods no longer great, but he’s still capable of greatness

This, that and the other thing:

▪ With all due respect to Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day – the undisputed top three golfers in the world – watching a golf tournament on TV is more entertaining when Tiger Woods is playing well, feeling well and in contention.

Woods, tied for the lead at 11-under par entering Saturday’s third round of the Wyndham Championship, is consistently finding the fairway, playing well in the short game and making the putts he needs. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Woods walk tall and with some swagger.

We’re not saying Woods will ever be the dominating force he once was. He can no longer win tournaments just by showing up or by intimidating his opponents by wearing that red shirt on Sunday afternoon. Heck, he hasn’t won a tournament since 2013 – his last major victory was in 2008 – and he may not win this weekend in Greensboro, N.C.

But he’s still Tiger Woods, one of the greatest golfers of our generation. He may no longer be capable of being consistently great, but he’s capable of having great moments. Will we witness another one this weekend?

▪ Washington coach Jay Gruden could have saved Robert Griffin III from sustaining a concussion in Thursday night’s preseason game against Detroit, but he kept throwing his starting quarterback to the Lions.

It was as if Griffin was wearing milk-bone shoulder pads while being chased and harassed by a pack of hungry dogs that made Swiss cheese out of Washington’s offensive line.

Griffin was sacked three times, fumbled twice and was hit by a pass rusher on six of eight dropbacks. Most head coaches would have had their starting quarterback out of a meaningless preseason game after one drive. But Gruden kept marching RG3 onto the field for four painful drives before he left with a concussion and shoulder stinger.

Curiously, Gruden’s brother, Jon, reportedly worked with Kirk Cousins – Griffin’s backup – during the offseason. If Jay Gruden doesn’t want RG3 as his starting quarterback, there are better, less painful, ways of delivering the message.

Victor Contreras (916) 326-5527, vcontreras@sacbee.com, @sacbeevictor

Playbook

  • WHAT TO WATCH: NFL preseason, Raiders at Minnesota, 5 p.m., Ch. 58: Don’t expect these teams to open up the playbook with a Week 10 matchup scheduled.
  • TWITTER CHATTER: “(Tiger Woods) stuck it out through all the mockery & made all the wastrels who wrote him off choke on their gleeful bile.” – @piersmorgan
  • ON THIS DATE: On Aug. 22, 1965, Giants pitcher Juan Marichal hit Dodgers catcher John Roseboro on the head with his bat, causing a 14-minute brawl.
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