An Emotional Valspar Championship Victory for Peter Malnati

by | Mar 25, 2024 | Pro News

With his wife and young children watching alongside the 18th green at the Innisbrook Copperhead Course, Peter Malnati captured his second career PGA TOUR victory about 9 years since his first.

The Indiana native began the final round two shots back and closed with a victory over Cameron Young by that same margin after firing a 4 under par 67 to go 12 under par for the week.

Before eventually lifting the trophy, an emotional Malnati hoisted his 4-year-old son Hatcher and left some in the crowd fighting back tears.

Peter Malnati

In the final round of the 2024 Valspar Championship, Peter Malnati carded a 4-under par 67 and was able to secure his second win on the PGA TOUR.

“That moment of winning a tournament and having your family come out onto the green, the big hugs, and all of that is something that I’ve seen other families have, and that’s been my dream. I’ve had a lot of stretches of golf in the last nine years where I wondered if that would ever happen,” Malnati said. “I’m at peace with who I am, how I live, and the work I put into this. If I’d never had that moment I had today, I would have been completely fine. But man is that special.”

36-year-old Malnati wins the self-proclaimed “most colorful PGA TOUR tournament in the world” (since it is sponsored by a paint company) and is rather colorful himself, not one to hide his emotions from public view.

Even if golf fans don’t know much about him, many certainly recognize the bucket hat he wears to honor his friend and former PGA TOUR player Jarrod Lyle, who died in 2018 after losing his battle to leukemia.  That happened three years after Malnati’s first big win at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

He’s also the guy who plays with a yellow golf ball.

“It is fitting, isn’t it? Thank you to my boy Hatcher over there. I think he’s over it now, but it was cool last summer when I first told him they made yellow golf balls. So I switched because he was into it, and now Daddy likes it, and I think I’ll be sticking with it for a little while, and we’ll have the most colorful ball on TOUR for at least 12 months, you know, until I go pull a Sam Burns (who won back to back in 2021-22), the most colorful ball on TOUR will be the Valspar champion.”

Beyond a more than $1.5 Million payday, Malnati earned a two-year exemption on TOUR, a spot in the remaining $20 Million signature events and can expect his first invitation to play in the Masters Tournament.

“You know, I got asked a lot when I was a kid, my uncle has tickets to the Masters, do you want to come, my friend has tickets to the Masters, do you want to come, and I always said no, I don’t want to go watch people play golf. That doesn’t sound fun. So I didn’t go. And then, as I became a PGA TOUR member and played on the PGA TOUR and became a winner, I would occasionally meet the right person who would say, hey, do you want to come play Augusta? I was like, no. Like, I want to go play Augusta when I’m in the Masters. That’s when I want to go play Augusta.”

The Masters was so far off Malnati’s radar until it was brought up in the post-tournament news conference that he had to ask the moderator when it takes place.

Save the date, Peter, April 8-14.

Photos courtesy of Valspar Championship


About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">George McNeilly</a>

George McNeilly

George McNeilly is an award-winning multimedia broadcaster, producer and writer with a journalism background that has spanned the globe from four Olympics, 17 Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals, Major College Football, Basketball and Professional Golf. A former Senior ESPN executive, George teaches Sports Business at Full Sail University and is managing partner of McNeilly Communications.