PGA Tour board member reveals ‘cute’ reason for yellow golf ball at Valspar Championship


PGA Tour Policy Board member Peter Malnati has played with a yellow golf ball for quite some time now.

It has not helped him much, as the former Missouri Tiger has four missed cuts and only one top-10 this season.

But he is in line to finish in the top-10 at this week’s Valspar Championship, where he sits in a tie for second through 54 holes.

Dubbed the “most colorful event” in golf for its sponsor, Malnati revealed why he now uses a yellow golf ball after his 3-under 68 on Saturday.

“Well, I started using it in Minnesota at the 3M Championship last summer,” Malnati said.

“I switched to it because, at the time, my three-year-old, who is now four, liked them. He’s kind of over it now, but it still makes me think of him, and that’s worth a smile or two, which is worth a lot out there for me.”

Peter Malnati, PGA Tour, Valspar Championship

Peter Malnati walks off the 4th green with his yellow golf ball in hand.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

For Malnati, smiles have been hard to come by lately.

Between his struggles on the golf course and the negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), the 36-year-old has had a stressful couple of years.

Yet, he finds a reprieve through his golf ball, which reminds him of his son.

But he also had plenty of reason to smile on the 18th green, where he saw his yellow golf ball pour into the center of the cup for birdie. He drained it from 31 feet to climb to 8-under, two behind leader Keith Mitchell.

“It feels really good to knock in a putt,” Malnati said.

“I hit it well today, and I wasn’t stuffing it in there tight all day, but I had a lot of looks on the back nine, kind of mid-range putts, and sometimes I get some of those to go, and I really hadn’t today. To make that one at the end, it felt really, really nice.”

Indeed, Malnati’s birdie on the 18th was his first par-breaker since the 7th hole. After bogeying the eighth, he made nine straight pars.

Now, he is in a position to do something special: win again on the PGA Tour.

“I can’t think of very many times where I’ve actually teed off on Sunday realistically thinking of winning the tournament,” Malnati added.

“Unfortunately, it feels special. Hopefully, it will feel normal by the end of the year, but it feels special, and it’s something that I’m really excited about. It’s why I work hard so I can have these opportunities.”

Malnati has only one career PGA Tour win, which came at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2015.

He has never played at Augusta National, nor has he qualified for The Open. His win in Mississippi qualified him for the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol, but he did not make it to the weekend. He returned to the 2021 edition, and once again missed the cut.

A month later, he suffered the same fate at the U.S. Open, which Jon Rahm won at Torrey Pines.

It has been a tough few years for Malnati, grinding it out on the PGA Tour and struggling to keep his card.

But he has plenty to smile about on Saturday evening, and perhaps the golfing world will see him and his colorful golf ball win the most colorful event in golf.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.





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