PGA TourNovember 10, 2015

The more you learn about Peter Malnati, the more you'll like him

As soon as Peter Malnati won his first PGA Tour title, the rave reviews from his peers started to surface. Aron Price, called him one of the top three putters he's ever seen. Bob Estes said, "he might be the nicest, happiest guy I've ever met." In short, Malnati seems easy to root for. Watch this video about the bond he has with a young cancer survivor and her family and that becomes even more apparent.

But there's plenty more to like about this 28-year-old tour pro. Let's start with his blog. And no, this isn't a blog written by a team of PR people or one that an athlete goes months without updating. Malnati is an active participant, providing readers with information on what it's like to be a tour pro in an articulate manner. Here's a sample:

Lastly, I am going to commit to playing golf in the moment tomorrow, this week, and this whole season. I know from my rookie year on the PGA Tour that there are a lot thoughts and big distractions that can spiral in a player's head at this level, but I am committed to being focused on the shot at hand when it's time to hit a golf shot. I have created an anchor, something to pull me back into the present when my mind starts wondering, and I will have it in my pocket during every round I play this year. I have trained too hard mentally and physically to let the distractions beat me, and I'm not going to let that happen. I will be in the moment over all of my shots this year, and that is an exciting thought.

Sounds like someone has a post-career as a sports psychologist. And check out the goals he posted for this season in a post from last month:

Go ahead and check off those first two, Peter.

Malnati also shared his honest and thoughtful take on the situation at his alma mater, Missouri, the day before his breakthrough win.

And how about the end of his winner's press conference? After the moderator wrapped up the Q&A session, Malnati added this with tournament sponsor Joe Sanderson in the room:

"Mr. Sanderson, I said it down on the green and I'm going to say it again in here. I get excited knowing that I have a healthy place to play golf, a healthy place to work my craft, and knowing that this event is going to be here for another 10 years I think is a really big deal. It's a really big deal, I know, to the Tour, and even though I don't know that all the players are really aware enough to realize it, it's a really big deal to us, too, so thank you very, very much for stepping up and doing that."

Talk about a sponsor's dream.

It's been an exciting few months for Malnati. First, he gained notoriety for this failed shot out of a hazard and his "I did all of that for that?!" reaction.

Then his Kansas City Royals won their first World Series title of his lifetime:

In his last blog post before winning, Malnati compared his second chance on the PGA Tour to the Royals' second chance at winning the Fall Classic.

"I said that we both had unfinished business because the Royals needed to get back to the World Series and win it, and I needed to get back to the PGA Tour and establish myself there. . . . I have achieved the first step in my unfinished business by earning my way back to the PGA Tour, and I'm ready to display the same grit and determination that the Royals did and resolve my unfinished business."

Malnati proved that readiness in Mississippi. Now we look forward to seeing -- and reading about -- what else he has in store.


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