Peter Malnati has that winning feeling despite runner-up finish at Sanderson Farms

Sergio Garcia won the Sanderson Farms Championship on Sunday with a dramatic birdie on the 72nd hole.

But he wasn’t the only winner at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi. Happy-go-lucky, energetic Peter Malnati felt every bit a winner, too.

Malnati, 33, hadn’t had a top-10 on the PGA Tour since the 2016 Hyundai Tournament of Champions but closed with a 9-under-par 63 that gave him the clubhouse lead until Garcia sank a 2-footer on the final hole.

Malnati, who teed off 1 hour, 40 minutes ahead of the leaders, waited out the rest of the day’s play by having a picnic with his wife, Alicia, and son, Hatcher, who turns 1 in two weeks. Malnati went to the range to warm up for a potential playoff a hole before Garcia won his first PGA Tour title since the 2017 Masters.

But Malnati was far from pouting after he finished runner-up at 18-under 270. That was the same score he shot when he won his lone PGA Tour title in the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship.

“This is my dream job, and I get to do it every day, and it beats me up and it’s so hard, and the competition out here is so strong, and you fail so much,” Malnati said. “What I did out there today felt like, it just felt awesome.

“I feel like I won the tournament.”

Malnati started the day five shots out of the lead and was thinking about finishing in the top 10 to secure a trip to next week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

But he birdied three of his first four holes, added another on the eighth, and started thinking about winning the tournament. Then birdied 10, 11, 12, 15 and 17 to take the lead. But he saw Garcia eagle the 15th and birdie the last to fall one shot short.

Still, Malnati is heading to Las Vegas.

“I’d be hard pressed to find a better one than that,” Malnati said of his 63. “That was just great. I’ve really been playing well all week and feeling like I was kind of on the cusp of putting together a low one. To go out and do it on a Sunday at a place that is so special to me, man, what a day.”

It’s been quite a couple weeks, too. At the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship last week in the Dominic Republic, he said he started feeling good things with his golf swing and tied for 41st.

The form traveled well to Mississippi.

“Last week in the Dominican Republic I really hit the ball nicely,” he said. “It’s kind of a generous golf course so it kind of put you in a little bit of a comfort zone off the tee with the big wide fairways, but I felt like I got in a little bit of a groove, and this week I played nine holes on Tuesday, felt really good, I played all 18 holes in the pro-am on Wednesday and just felt really good all day, and then Thursday, Friday, Saturday I felt like I’m hitting it well enough to really shoot a low one.”

It also helped that he was

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By: Steve DiMeglio
Title: Peter Malnati has that winning feeling despite runner-up finish at Sanderson Farms
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Published Date: Mon, 05 Oct 2020 00:01:13 +0000

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