Peter Malnati wants to let the world know that the PGA Tour’s new event model has been designated by the PGA Tour.

Mar, 2023

ORLANDO – Shortly after the PGA Tour board had finished its meeting at Bay Hill Club & Lodge on Tuesday night, which lasted over seven hours and transformed the Tour for many years to come , Peter Malnati sat down with his thoughts and wrote a journal entry.

He said, “I had to get this stuff out of my mind.” “I couldn’t believe how much my perspective on what we were doing had changed.”

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Malnati, one of five Tour director player directors, has been staunchly opposed to the idea of eight designated events without cuts or reduced fields for the top players. This would result in fewer playing opportunities and, as some like it, the Peter Malnatis.

Malnati was aware that his 180-flip would shock many of his brethren, so he wrote it to several of his fellow players. He sent a copy to Golfweek on Friday and said, “Just print it, print for me, let’s all see it.” Because everyone seems to think that we’re failing, but I don’t believe we are.

Here’s Malnati’s journal entry:

After Golfweek had the opportunity to read his thoughts Malnati outlined several key decisions and what went into them. He also did podcasts with Fire Pit Collective, No Laying Up and that are well worth listening to.

He said that he believed it was the best way to protect the “little guys” and that he supported the Tour’s future vision. “If I fought 120-man fields, we are going to end up having eight $20 million events and 26 $2 million events. It was just not good. It was impossible to ignore the numbers when I saw them. You couldn’t ignore the way that (regular events) fields would look if there were 120 designated events. We don’t need that much imagination. We just need to look at Honda’s schedule this year, and we will see that it clearly got screwed.”

What was the initial reaction to Malnati’s journal entry?

“Probably similar to what might be seen on Twitter. It’s amazing to see how fast I managed to get guys who I thought would hate this to accept it and say, “Oh, it’s going be okay.” Malnati stated, “I thought there would be more designated events.” It’s difficult to take in because it’s such a departure. It seems like this is only for the big men. It’s going to be a great thing for the Tour, and it will not only benefit the big guys. Although I realize people won’t believe it at first, it took me a while to get my head around it.

Malnati acknowledged that there may be a change in the mood among the rank-and-file competing at this week’s Tour’s opposite field event, a purse of $3million in Puerto Rico.

He said that he thought some guys might be more concerned about it. “Taking events that we’ve played at 120 or larger – like Travelers, and making them 70, 70s-ish fields can only be taking away playing opportunities. But I believe having been exposed to the data and seeing the effect that this has on the other events on Tour, those events that have been the bread-and- butter for the middle and bottom thirds, it strengthens them and allows them thrive.”

“I want more members to have the opportunity to play $20,000,000 purses. That’s why the PGA Tour exists to give opportunities to the membership to enjoy the financial rewards of playing here. So, I think that’s our mission. We don’t have the right to tell 50 men that you won’t be able to participate in these $20 million purse events. It was clear to me that if those events are 120-man fields, they will be the only events with a chance of growing on Tour.”

Malnati stated that he advocated for some cuts at designated events. However, this was stopped.

He said, “I hate every cut.” I brought it up at the meeting and said, “You’ve sold you on small fields. What if we had a small field, but reduced to 40? And ties? What if we did that? They said they thought it was hard enough. This is what makes them different from LIV’s work, as LIV selected the men and placed them in the field.

“Some independent directors and Tour staff have said that these events will be very difficult to qualify for. These events are a way to earn the last place paycheck.

Malnati pointed out that the changes approved also provided a pathway for regular players to be promoted to tournaments with stronger fields and larger purses.

It’s likely that Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Justin Thomas will be the men who make it to the top 50. They have to work for it. This is not a place where you can get a handout. It will be difficult to get in. In my nine-year professional career, I don’t know if I would ever have qualified for one of these events. If you play well, you will always have access. They are never closed.

“Is it perfect?” It’s not perfect, but it’s what we need.”

Malnati recalled listening to Monahan’s interview on TV with Jim Nantz at the RBC Canadian Open, when the Commissioner stated that the difference between the PGA Tour or LIV Golf League was the Tour offers pure and true competition. Monahan stated, “It is only through pure and true competition that you can identify top players in this world.”

Malnati stated that it was difficult for him to accept the idea that a small field without a cut could be true and pure competition. “But I really appreciate the fact that these events will be difficult to get into. You’ll either need to have played consistently for a whole season in the previous year or you’ll have to be really, really hot right this moment. You must have won this season or played the last few events really well in order to be eligible for the designated men.

Malnati was convinced by all the reasons, but none more convincing than the data provided by the PGA Tour staff that indicated that there would be more churn in the top 50 than he had expected.

He said that he has learned over the years that his gut is good on the course but not when it comes down to analysis. “Like what my gut told me, if the top 50 events are given eight events with no cut and slightly increased FedEx Cup points then 42 of them will stay in the top fifty. The average retention rate of the top 50 in a thousand simulation seasons was 64%. It’s likely to go higher than that, according to my gut. However, I have to trust the numbers and know that Tour isn’t manipulating any of those numbers they showed us. They ran it on their software, and found that in 1,000 seasons the least amount of churn was 14 out and 14 in, and the greatest churn to 22. It’s great, it’s great. It’s amazing. It seems hard to believe that I would have thought it.

He did a 180, which helped to make the vote for the Tour’s plan unanimous. It was also the reason why the former University of Missouri journalism major felt the need to write down his thoughts.

He said, “Because it was impossible for me to vote for it.” To get this idea back on the drawing board, they needed two people to oppose it. They had one person in me who was going to oppose it, and I was certain of that.

“And then, you just sit down and look at the data. You think about the Tour events you love – John Deere, Valspar, Sanderson Farms. To see how playing the designated events would decimate the field for an Event like John Deere was incredible powerful.

“Anyone who voted for it would have been the one who voted for it. It wouldn’t have mattered. If I tried to vote it down, I would not have been serving the people I promised to serve. This will ensure that the events in the middle and bottom thirds of the PGA Tour continue to have the majority of their playing opportunities. They would have been weaker, and this model will make them stronger. It is.

Malnati concluded his message with the following profound statement: “Last Week I was scared. Today I couldn’t believe more about the PGA Tour, for our sponsors and fans, media partners, partners, and, above all, every single member.”

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