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Tuesday, September 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Grip on Sports: Tiger’s fist pump is back and that’s good for golf

Tiger Woods  watches his putt on the 18th hole during the third round of the British Open Golf  in Carnoustie, Scotland, on Saturday. (Alastair Grant / AP)
Tiger Woods watches his putt on the 18th hole during the third round of the British Open Golf in Carnoustie, Scotland, on Saturday. (Alastair Grant / AP)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • There are only two words that seem to get the public talking about golf these days, and two words only. Tiger Woods. Read on.

••••••••••

• If you belong to the large group of people who only turn on their television to watch golf when Woods is involved, then today is your day.

But you better already have it on.

The British Open is good theater most years, though the curtain rises early here on the Left Coast. 

Tiger and his pals are already on the course in Scotland, and we are typing this at before 7 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. They will be done around noon. By then we will know if there is still some life in the 42-year-old Woods’ aging golf game.

He showed the ability to excite the golf world anew yesterday, shooting a third-round 66 to pull into contention at Carnoustie. But the course, as dry as my mouth after a July afternoon walk, was there to be taken.

Justin Rose shot a 64, Jordan Spieth a 65. Heck, someone named Chris Wood matched Tiger’s score.

Today it’s already clear the conditions aren’t nearly as favorable. Jason Day finished early with a 3-under 68, but red numbers aren’t as easy to come by as they were Saturday.

But most of the viewers tuning in really don’t care about Day or Spieth or Xander Schauffele. They care about Woods. 

It really doesn’t matter if he wins. They want to see him reclaim some of his lost glory.

• The other recipient of Tigers’ 5-under round Saturday? That would be NBC, who is certainly happy with the added attention engendered by his name on the leaderboard.

Higher ratings mean more advertising income down the road. 

• The “What If” series is back in the pages of the old S-R today, with columnist Shawn Vestal imaging a world in which Evil Knievel was successful in his attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon back in 1974.

We’re not going to spoil the fantastical outcome but I will say this: Who would want to live in an America in which a huckster could fulfill every child’s dream?

•••

WSU: The Pac-12 football media day is this Wednesday, which means this week will be filled with football stories. That’s good, right? … Colorado is happy with its quarterback depth. … Arizona’s best team played 20 years ago. 

Gonzaga: Whatever Johnathan Williams did for the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer league team, the franchise must have liked it. The Lakers signed him to a contract yesterday. Jim Meehan has more in this story.

Whitworth: The Pirates are inducting four into their hall of fame

Indians: Spokane won’t be winning the first-half title after it was eliminated by Salem-Keizer with an 11-8 loss last night. … Around the Northwest League, Eugene won in 10 innings. … Hillsboro lost to Vancouver. … Boise shut out Everett.

Mariners: Felix Hernandez had his best stuff of the year (his description) – until he didn’t. It didn’t matter though. The M’s only had two hits in a 5-0 loss to the woeful White Sox. … Ryon Healy is one of those not hitting well recently. He only has a little time to show he belongs in the lineup down the stretch. … Seattle’s bad luck with minor league prospects continued. … Finally, we have our Out of Right Field column for you today, looking at the M’s decision to extend Scott Servais.

Seahawks: The players the Hawks drafted need to step up and fill spots.

Sounders: Nicolas Lodeiro scored twice yesterday and the Sounders shut out Vancouver, 2-0. The three points were highly needed. … Portland rallied for a draw with visiting Montreal. 

•••        

• The TV is on here. Guess what I’m watching. No, it’s not “Hot Bench.” Or “Big Brother.” My pick today? Spieth, though I wouldn’t be disheartened if Francesco Molinari won. My dad used to root for him. Until later … 

Wordcount: 700

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