Peter Malnati retracts ‘gimmick’ dig at Thompson, PGA Tour

by Joanne Miller

Peter Malnati Talks About Lexi Thompson’s Exemption for PGA Tour Event

In the world of professional golf, Peter Malnati has been making headlines lately. Since joining the PGA Tour policy board, he hasn’t been shy when it comes to sharing his opinions. However, when discussing Lexi Thompson’s exemption for next week’s Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas, he found himself choosing his words very carefully.

Lexi Thompson, a golfer with 11 career LPGA victories, was given a special exemption to play in the PGA Tour event. This move surprised Malnati, who initially stated that the tour didn’t need to “resort to gimmicks.” However, he quickly had a change of heart.

“I shouldn’t have said that,” Malnati admitted. “I don’t know that having Lexi play is a gimmick, but I don’t think the tournaments are going to have to go to those kind of lengths to drum up interest and get storylines that they can sell because I think these events are actually going to have a lot of meaning.”

Malnati recognizes that change is difficult for everyone, and he understands the uncertainties faced by host organizations in the ever-evolving golf landscape. The fall season has been completely reimagined, and there is a sense of uncertainty regarding what to expect from tournaments in this new era.

Despite his initial hesitation, Malnati believes that Thompson’s entry into the field of 132 women will undoubtedly catch people’s attention. He acknowledges that her presence will generate headlines, and if that is the goal for the Shriners and the host organization in Las Vegas, then it’s a positive outcome. After all, Thompson’s accomplishments as a professional athlete cannot be ignored.

This isn’t the first time Malnati has expressed a strong opinion. In June, he commented on the lack of trust that players had in the tour following its framework agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. He stressed that it would take time for the relationship between the players and the tour to be repaired.

As for Malnati himself, he will be playing in this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi. His last appearance in the Fortinet Championship resulted in a tied 11th place finish on September 17th.

Peter Malnati’s outspoken nature has sparked conversations within the golf community. While he may have initially questioned Lexi Thompson’s exemption, he now recognizes the potential value it brings to the tournament. As the sport continues to evolve, players and fans alike will be interested to see how events unfold and how the PGA Tour adapts to new challenges.

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