Peter Malnati has just one victory in his PGA Tour career, but his impact on the game extends far beyond the course.
He serves as one of the player directors on the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council, which helps the tour make key decisions and provide perspectives from the players.
“I was shocked, and I was mad, but now that I kind of understand what’s going on,” Malnati told Golfweek. “We need to get out of the way, let smart people do their jobs, and we’ll all make shitloads.”
It’s a huge change to the game of golf and can pay dividends, even to the 224th-ranked player in the world like Malnati.
“[LIV] never had any interest in me, and that’s perfectly understandable. But even hypothetically, had LIV made me a significant offer, it was never on the table to accept it because I didn’t want to be associated with the Saudis and the PIF.”
It’s interesting to hear how quickly ones opinion can change. Malnati stated he did not want to be associated with the Saudis. But after learning a bit more about the deal, suddenly he’s willing to just step aside, let the ‘smart people’ make decisions and he can sit back and make ‘shitloads’ of money.
The PIF reportedly has over $720 billion in assets and has invested more than $2 billion into LIV Golf, the breakaway tour that started in 2022.
Now the PIF has entered a “commercial partnership” with the PGA Tour, as the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund will become a key sponsor for the tour in the future.
The United States government has got involved. The Department of Justice has announced an investigation into the deal, both from an anti-trust law perspective, as well as the alleged sportswashing from Saudi Arabia.
Despite the moral controversies associated with PIF, the PGA Tour still decided to pursue an agreement with the Saudis.
But if the past is any indicator, money wins. Professional golf has proven that point over the past few years.
Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.