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Why Peter Malnati’s emotional Valspar win resonated with many fans

2024 Valspar Championship

HOUSTON — From the moment his final putt dropped, tears were dancing down Peter Malnati’s face.

Last Sunday, he picked up his first PGA Tour win in nine years. He got to celebrate with his 4-year-old son, Hatcher, on the green.

“That’s something that I’ve seen other families have and that has been my dream,” Malnati said through his tears Sunday. “If I had never had the moment I had today, I would have been completely fine. But, man, was that special.”

In professional golf, one week can alter someone’s life drastically. That happened last week for Malnati, 36, and one of the Tour’s player directors. And the emotional celebration enthralled fans.

Instead of taking a week off, Malnati is in the field this week at the 2024 Texas Children’s Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course. During his pre-tournament press conference Wednesday, he was asked about whether he was aware why his win resonated.

His response was thorough and from the heart.

“I think at the end of the day — do you remember like we can all probably remember when we were kids, and we were all kids at different times, but the things that moved us that we watched,” Malnati said. “I remember watching Jordan and the ’97 Bulls, I remember watching Tiger in the 2000 Masters. I didn’t care one iota what Jordan’s contract was. I didn’t care one iota what the winner’s check at that U.S. Open was.

“And I think people are sick of that. I think people are just sick of the narrative in golf being about, you know, contracts on LIV, purses on the Tour, guaranteed comp on the Tour. I think people are so sick of that. They want to see sport, they want to see — they want to see people who are the best in the world at what they do do it at a high level and celebrate that, celebrate the athleticism, celebrate the achievement. Obviously this is a business and to the top players who drive a lot of the value in this business, we’ve got to compensate them fairly, we’ve got to make that happen.”

2024 Valspar Championship

Peter Malnati accepts the Valspar Championship Trophy after the final round of the Valspar Championship at Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club on March 24, 2024 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

“But I think we’re doing that above and beyond, and the narrative, the storylines, the conversation needs to come back to the product on the course and what we do. I think for me that was like I just, I just feel like no kid…


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