'We Don't Have Tournaments To Play In If We Don't Have Communities That Think These Tournaments Matter' - Peter Malnati Stresses Importance Of PGA Tour Event Mix

The winner of the Valspar Championship has spoken about the importance of the PGA Tour's traditional events following the emergence of its higher-profile tournaments

Peter Malnati takes a shot at the Valspar Championship
Peter Malnati has defended the importance of the PGA Tour's regular events
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While the biggest events on the PGA Tour season have made headlines, most recently with back-to-back victories for World No.1 Scottie Scheffler at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship, the lower-profile tournaments have arguably created the most memorable stories.

Since the turn of the year, underdogs have largely dominated proceedings at the traditional full-field events, including Nick Dunlap’s win at The American Express, Jake Knapp’s victory at the Mexico Open and Peter Malnati’s first PGA Tour win in nine years at last week’s Valspar Championship.

After the tournament at the Copperhead Course, Malnati spoke to the media about the importance of ensuring the less-celebrated tournaments on the PGA Tour co-exist with the signature events, offering a passionate appraisal of their worth in a landscape increasingly dominated by events featuring smaller fields of the Tour’s elite competing for huge prize money.

He began by dedicating his win to those integral to the existence of the traditional events. He said: “It's for Tampa, it's for the Copperheads, it's for Valspar, and it's for all the events on the PGA Tour who find themselves in this new ecosystem kind of wondering where they fit and if they matter.”

Malnati, who beat Cameron Young by two shots at the Valspar Championship, then warned that without events like it, the dreams of many aspiring golfers would be thwarted.

“There are thousands of Peter Malnatis out there who are 10 years old right now, teenagers right now, who dream of playing golf on the PGA Tour,” he explained. “And they want to have the moment that I just got to have.”

Malnati, who has served as a player director on the PGA Tour’s Policy Board since 2023, then stressed the importance of communities and sponsors to the PGA Tour. He said: “If we don't have communities that believe in what the PGA Tour does and sponsors who support what the PGA Tour does, we don't have those moments.”

Peter Malnati acknowledges the fans after his Valspar Championship triumph

Malnati's win at the Valspar Championship was his second on the PGA Tour

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“We don't have tournaments to play in if we don't have communities that think these tournaments matter,” he continued. “And if we don't have host organizations like the Copperheads and, you know, several other amazing host organizations around the country, we don't have a PGA Tour.”

Malnati’s comments sparked a debate on Golf Today on the merits of the full-field events, with senior writer at the Golf Channel Ryan Lavner saying: “The more that I see these full-field events, the more I’m convinced that they’re essential to what the future of the PGA Tour needs to be.”

The PGA Tour recently secured a $3bn investment from the US-based Strategic Sports Group, but its direction remains uncertain pending the outcome of negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund behind LIV Golf over its potential involvement.

Regardless of where those discussions lead, the signature events are likely to continue generating the big headlines. However, as the debate over the latest underdog story offered up by Malnati’s win has shown, there is a growing sense that the traditional events are equally important in their own way.

Malnati's comments came after another player director on the PGA Tour's Policy Board, Webb Simpson, told Golfweek in January: “The model is broken at the purse sizes we’ve been going the last year. And the sponsors are starting to feel it. Sponsors are pulling out. Wells Fargo, Farmers, there will probably be a couple more this year I would think, maybe one or two more.”

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.