Keep a Close Eye on Weir


If anybody has asked me, Id have told them that:
  • Theres nothing wrong with Mike Weir that a good week at Pebble Beach wont cure. Weir has slipped to No. 9 in the Official World Golf Ranking. But he has finished tied seventh, tied eighth, tied 52nd, tied third and tied fourth in his last five appearances at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
    So expect him to start climbing back up the rankings ladder this week. And, for that matter, dont look for that climb to stop any time soon. Weir is the two-time defending champion at the Nissan Open, which will be played next week at Riviera Country Club.
  • The greens at Pebble Beach will surprise almost everybody this week. In the past, certain prominent players have avoided this event because iffy weather made for iffy greens. That wont be the case down on the Monterey Peninsula this week.
  • You wont be seeing the Gnau Trophy in public any time soon. It may be the only R-rated trophy in golf.
    This prize went to the winner of a challenge match between Walter Hagens Ryder Cup team and a group of 10 players chosen by Gene Sarazen. The event took place in the early 40s when WWII forced cancellation of four Ryder Cups.
    The trophy itself is of a nude golfer and was sculpted by Adolph Alexander Weiman in sterling silver. Well-known Michigan golf marketer Dave Richards recently spotted the Gnau Trophy in the basement of Russell Gnau, son of John Gnau, the man who started the event.
    Richards initially was going to help Gnau sell the trophy but decided to buy it himself. The sculpture, Richards says, has never been exhibited to my knowledge.
    In case you were wondering, Hagens team defeated Sarazens challengers 7-5 in the first Gnau Cup at Oakland Hills in 1940.
  • Life got a lot better for Nick OHern the day after he lost an agonizing four-hole playoff to Craig Parry at Sundays Heineken Classic.
    Monday was when OHern learned he had jumped from No. 47 to No. 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking. OHern is assured a spot in the upcoming WGC-Accenture Match Play and virtually guaranteed invites to this years Players Championship and Masters. Neither of which he has played in before.
  • Soon the subject of whether Jack Nicklaus will play in the Masters this April will be debated in various media outlets.
    Nicklaus won more than $300,000 last weekend at the Wendys Champions Skins Game in Hawaii, taking down Craig Stadler, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson along the way.
    The Golden Bear turned 65 last month and had back surgery just last November. My opinion: Jack should show up and play at Augusta as long as he wants. My hope: When he stops playing in the tournament proper, he continues to show up and play Wednesdays Par 3 event as long as he can walk.
    Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt