KAPALUA, Hawaii – Three years ago, Peter Malnati began his season plying his trade on the mini tours and hoping to make the most of a few chances to Monday qualify for Web.com Tour events.
The juxtaposition of starting 2016 at the winners-only, no-cut Hyundai Tournament of Champions was not lost on the 28-year-old who won the Sanderson Farms Championship last fall to earn his first trip to Kapalua.
“I’m on the putting green the other day and right next to me is Jordan Spieth,” said Malnati, who shot 66 on Day 2 and is tied for eighth place. “I’m thinking, that guy is six years younger than me and won five times last year. It’s a cool experience.”
As his 7-under card on Friday will attest, Malnati is not simply happy to be in Hawaii. He has spent more time working on his game this week than sightseeing and swimming.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” he said. “Usually I have to beat 155 guys, but this week it’s only 32 guys, so I really want to focus on this week.”