Peter Malnati thinks fans are "sick" of hearing about LIV Golf & PGA Tour money

Peter Malnati: "I think people are just sick of the narrative in golf being about contracts on LIV and purses on PGA Tour..."

Peter Malnati thinks fans are "sick" of hearing about LIV Golf & PGA Tour money
Peter Malnati thinks fans are "sick" of hearing about LIV Golf & PGA Tour…

Peter Malnati believes golf fans are "sick" of hearing about huge LIV Golf contracts and big-money prize purses on the PGA Tour in 2024. 

Malnati, 36, made his feelings be known just three days after his emotional Valspar Championship victory, which marked his second career title on the PGA Tour and his first in more than eight years. 

The American was reduced to tears when interviewed on the 18th green on Sunday, where he was greeted by his family. 

One of his children ran on to the green to give Dad a victory hug in a superhero cape. 

Speaking ahead of this week's Texas Children's Houston Open, Malnati was pressed by one reporter to discuss why he thinks his own story from last week resonated beyond the casual golf fan. 

Last week's Valspar Championship was not a Signature Event on the PGA Tour, and as a result of that, it saw just a handful of players in the world's top 30 in action including Xander Schauffele and Cameron Young, the latter who once again came up shy in his bid to land a maiden PGA Tour title. 

Malnati, who acts as one of six player directors on the PGA Tour alongside Tiger Woods, thinks golf fans are being turned off by all the big money contracts and prize purses in the pro game in 2024. 

LIV Golf League events feature prize purses of $20m with winners collecting $4m each week, and the same applies on the PGA Tour when it comes to the Signature Events. 

Jon Rahm reportedly accepted a fee of $600m to join LIV Golf at the end of 2023. 

Malnati admitted he never cared what golfers were earning when he was growing up as a kid, and that script for many golf fans has likely not changed today. 

He also admitted his own tears had nothing to do with the $1.5m he collected for winning the Valspar Championship. 

Malnati said at length: 

"Yeah, 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. 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 6 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. 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 dreamed 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 $8.4 million purse last week. My tears had nothing to do with my share of that. 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 hope that that can be -- I do think everyone out here who plays and competes would agree with me on that. I just hope that can be 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."

Malnati is playing his part to try and unify the pro game as he is one of six player directors on the PGA Tour.

Prior to his victory at the Valspar Championship last week, he jetted over to the Bahamas on the Monday to speak with Saudi PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

Talks are ongoing between the PIF and PGA Tour as they attempt to get a deal over the line to work together in the future. 

Do you agree with Malnati's comments? Has the money got out of hand on the PGA Tour, and is the divide in the pro game turning people away? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.

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