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Golf’s everyman Peter Malnati wins for something greater than himself at Valspar

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Peter Malnati can breathe easier now. With his nerve-racking, hard-fought victory on Sunday at the Valspar Championship, where he found four birdies on his final nine to shoot 4-under 67 and win by two at Innisbrook’s demanding Copperhead Course – he now will have access to playing his favorite major of the season. Big exhale.

Yes, Malnati, an 36-year-old golf everyman of sorts with his floppy bucket hat and yellow golf ball, is guaranteed, as a PGA TOUR winner again, a spot in the summer’s Travelers Championship, now a reduced-field Signature Event played on what he considers to be the most fun golf course on the PGA TOUR, TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.

“That’s my major,” he said. Oh, and he should soon be receiving an invitation to the Masters in Georgia in three weeks as well. “I will probably accept it,” Malnati deadpanned, having never played the event before in his 10-year TOUR career.