Malnati claims maiden win at Sanderson Farms

Peter Malnati fired a five-under-par 67 to snatch the first victory of his career, triumphing by one stroke to claim the weather-disrupted Sanderson Farms Championship on Monday. After a front nine which included four birdies and two bogeys, Malnati produced an error-free performance down the stretch, reeling off three birdies and no bogeys, to finish clear of David Toms and William McGirt in second.

Malnati, who returned to the PGA Tour after finishing fourth on the Web.com money list, said he finally felt like he belonged on the tour.   -  AP

Peter Malnati fired a five-under-par 67 to snatch the first victory of his career, triumphing by one stroke to claim the weather-disrupted Sanderson Farms Championship on Monday.

After a front nine which included four birdies and two bogeys, Malnati produced an error-free performance down the stretch, reeling off three birdies and no bogeys, to finish clear of David Toms and William McGirt in second.

Victory completed a dream return to the PGA Tour for Malnati, who played on the junior Web.com Tour last season after finishing 178th in the Fedex points list in 2014.

Malnati, who returned to the PGA Tour after finishing fourth on the Web.com money list, said he finally felt like he belonged on the tour.

“This year I don’t feel like I’m out here as a surprise,” Malnati said after his win, which left him with an 18-under-par four-round aggregate of 270.

“I feel like I’m out here and I belong to be out here. Two years ago I was just so wrapped up in being on the Tour and enjoying it all. This year it feels like business.”

It was a disappointing finish for overnight leader Roberto Castro. Castro had started the day one shot clear of the field after seeing a healthy lead evaporate with a three-over-par 75 on Sunday.

Castro, who had shot a 10-under-par 62 on the opening day, was unable to overhaul Malnati, firing a final round 68 to finish two shots off the lead on 272.

Four other players — Aaron Baddeley, Patton Kizzire, Bryce Molder and Jhonattan Vegas — were also on 272.

The tournament finished on Monday after heavy rain and lighting lashed the course on Friday and Saturday, forcing several lengthy delays.

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