Nothing Can Emotionally Prepare You For Peter Malnati’s Tearful Interview After Valspar Championship Win

Peter Malnati

Peter Malnati got the second win of his PGA Tour career by holding off Cameron Young down the stretch of the Valspar Championship on Sunday. His victory added another cool twist to a season where the divided world of professional golf has generated a ton of unpredictable winners on the top circuit.

You can see Malnati celebrating with his family on the green right after he taps in the final putt for a round of 67 to best Young by two strokes at 12 under par overall. What came next from a man who’s not exactly a household name in the world of golf is one hit harder than anyone could’ve ever anticipated.

Wanna witness a man bear his soul on live TV? Here you go, when Malnati was stopped to discuss his long-awaited return to PGA Tour champion status:

“You wonder if you’re ever going to do it again, because it’s hard. In the nine years since my last win, it’s gotten a lot harder, too. You look at the level of talent out here, guys coming out when they’re 20 years old. They’re ready to play on this stage, and they’re so good. You just wonder.

So to have to have this moment feels so amazing. I mean, obviously my family believes in me. We’ve got the best caddie. He’s been loyal to me for a long time through a lot of down times too…I’m just so thankful for it my wife. She makes it all possible. Because life is hard. it’s obviously glamorous at times like this.

This is my dream job, and it’s absolutely amazing, but life is really, really hard too. When you’re trying to figure out how to live this lifestyle and have two kids and everything that you want to be… [..] My wife has been an absolute rock through all of it. She’s amazing, and I’ve got my mom here. My family. Amazing two little boys…This just feels so good. it feels so good.”

Come on, Pete. DON’T DO ME LIKE THAT.

Now all of a sudden, Malnati has qualified for his first Masters Tournament next month. Not bad!

There’s a lot of talk around golf these days about cutting down on PGA Tour membership as a means of having fewer players, but the best of the best, share the most money possible. While I can see where those folks are coming from — and let’s face it, that’s probably where the sport is headed — we’ve had so many Malnati-esque winners this year that would’ve never happened under such circumstances.

Couldn’t have articulated my thoughts on the implications and resonance of Malnati’s win much better than Jason Sobel did here:

It’s just so cool to see Malnati vindicate himself as a formidable player in the game. The fact that he now has hardware to back up why LIV Golf would take decades of established tradition to emulate a gratifying moment like that for a lesser-known player should bring some thunder to the negotiation table. You’d hope it could shake things up enough to expedite the sluggish movement toward a LIV-PGA alliance.

A deal will be worked out one way or another. No need to dwell on the pace toward it. Instead, it’s worth highlighting how the more one digs into Malnati’s story, the more inclined one is to unabashedly root for him. “One” accounting for at least myself in this case.

All the status exemptions that Malnati earned on the strength of this win will totally change his life. Professional golf is not a field to make a living in for the faint of heart. Thousands of hours in a lifetime of ongoing practice. An unexpected spell of poor play can happen at any time. Every single week there’s pressure to keep your card if you’re not one of the true elites. Malnati has been on the grind for years, doing enough to hang on, but not enough to not be stressed. What a story. What a moment. What an interview.

Only way I can think to close this out is with a quote from Mike McDaniel for some reason.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock