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PGA Tour winner Malnati: Fans ‘sick’ of money talk in golf

Peter Malnati insists golf should return to focusing on storylines on the course and believes fans are “sick” of the money narrative currently dominating the professional game.

Malnati captured the interest of the sporting world with his two-stroke victory over Cameron Young at the Valspar Championship on Sunday, where he was reduced to tears after completing his first PGA Tour victory since 2015.

The 36-year-old’s success came days after he and other members of the PGA Tour Policy Board attended a meeting with representatives from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls the LIV Golf League, as talks to unify the men’s game continue.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 02: Peter Malnati of the United States reacts after missing his putt at the eighteenth hole during the third round of Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches at PGA National Resort the Champion Course on March 2, 2024 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.(Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Image: Malnati believes fans are ‘sick’ of money dominating conversations around professional golf

Money has frequently been a discussion point in recent years, with players making high-value moves to the LIV Golf League and the PGA Tour making significant improvements to its prize purses, leading to Malnati understanding why his victory resonated so much with fans.

“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 ahead of the Texas Children’s Houston Open, live from Thursday on Sky Sports.

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Highlights from the final round of the Valspar Championship in Florida

“I remember watching [Michael] Jordan and the ’97 [Chicago] Bulls, I remember watching Tiger [Woods] 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 cheque at the US Open was. 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 [PGA] Tour, guaranteed comp on the PGA Tour. I think people are so sick of that.

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A look back on how Rory McIlroy’s stance on LIV Golf appears to have changed over the course of the last two years

“They want to see people who are the best in the world at what they 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. 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.

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Thursday 28th March 12:30pm

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“I just feel like no kid when they were watching Jordan dreamed of having his salary, they didn’t care about that. They dreamed of being in that moment, hitting that shot. I think that’s what our fans care about too and that’s what they want to see.

“I hope those tears that I was crying on that 18th green had nothing to do with my share of that, what was it, an $8.4m purse last week. My tears had nothing to do with my share of that.

Peter Malnati holds up the trophy after winning the Valspar Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 24, 2024, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Image: Malnati’s Valspar Championship win lifted him to world No 75

“I’m going to enjoy it and we’re going to use it to do a lot of good in this world, but it had nothing to do with that. And I don’t think our fans care about that either. I hope that connected with some people and I do think everyone out here who plays and competes would agree with me on that.

“I just hope that the story that we tell can come back to the best athletes in the world competing on the biggest stage in the world and doing it to show off this amazing skill that we have that can be so entertaining for people. I want that to be our story.”

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Thursday 28th March 8:00pm

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