Valero Texas Open, PGA TOUR Wives team up for Game Show Night
April 28, 2016
By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff
Long before Sunday’s final-round nerves got to last week’s Valero Texas Open champion Charley Hoffman, he was stressed – in a good way – about something entirely different.
At the first-ever “Game Show Night presented by the PGA TOUR,” there were natural questions; Would it succeed? Would the TOUR players and their wives have fun? Would anyone buy a ticket to watch and help raise money for charity?
For TOUR players, the real mind-bender was whether or not their answers in the TV game shows would be suitable to their better half.
Both literally and figuratively, the stars aligned on more than one occasion and delivered a resounding “Yes” to each question.
For starters, proceeds from the night were distributed equally between the PGA TOUR Wives Association and the Valero Texas Open’s “Birdies for Charity” campaign. Generated by individuals and organizations, “Birdies for Charity” pledges are multiplied by the actual number of birdies made by PGA TOUR players during the week of the historic San Antonio event. The program is also designed to take one-time, straight donations.
Last year, the fundraising program raised more than $2.1 million for participating charities and schools. The first set of aligned stars came with news that more than $2.7 million had been pledged before the week even started.
On Monday night at the JW Marriott at TPC San Antonio, TOUR players and their wives took center stage to compete in such games as “Family Feud,” the (Not So) “Newlywed Game” and “Win, Lose or Draw.” Tickets to the public were available to attend the dinner and game show festivities.
“This is probably not going to end well,” laughed Ben Crane. “I have no idea what kinds of questions are going to be asked, so I’m a little nervous. But, let’s be honest. What’s important tonight is that I get to be on stage. All kidding aside, I have been a part of the PGA TOUR for 15 years now and to see everything the PGA TOUR Wives Association and PGA TOUR does for charity is amazing. I know Major League Baseball has had a lot of success with this kind of thing. So, it’s fun, not just for us, but for the local community. It’s just a great way to give back and something that if we do consistently, it will gain a lot of momentum.”
“This is really cool, said PGA TOUR player and winner of this season’s Sanderson Farms Championship Peter Malnati. “The St. Louis Cardinals do this annually. After having done it for a few years to develop, they have turned it into something huge. I see no reason why, after a few years, this won’t follow in that same success. It’s such a fun night for us and a great way for us to connect with new fans to the game.”
What came as little surprise to anyone, Peter and wife Alicia Malnati took top honors in the inaugural event.
“It’s such a great opportunity for us to give back to the tournaments and cities that help us out so much and support us,” said Alicia Malnati. “So, it is great for us to entertain a crowd for a few hours and let them see us laugh behind the scenes. That’s the least we can do.”
The Master of Ceremony for the evening was Golf Channel’s Scott Walker and the games were hosted by Game Show America’s Matthew King.
“I was curious to see what my wife got us in to. When I heard ‘Family Feud’ was one of the games, I watched a few shows on YouTube. Steve Harvey makes it really fun, so we’ve been really looking forward to it,” said defending Valero Texas Open champion Jimmy Walker. “The PGA TOUR Wives Association always finds something fun and unique to do. When you can create an environment where everybody is having fun, all the other stuff just really comes together.”
“All the women involved with the PGA TOUR Wives Association are really sharp girls and are really excited to find ways to raise money for charity,” said two-time PGA TOUR champion D.A. points. “This was a really fun way to get the players involved, as well as give the sponsors and public an inside look at the lighter side of the players.”
If there were any lurking questions about the success of the event, Peter Malnati was quick to quell the inquiries.
“One of the guys at our table asked me how we can make sure this becomes an annual event,” Malnati said. “He said if it meant him having to buy multiple tables next year, he would do it. That pretty much said it all.”
Once again, all the stars had aligned. Well, for the most part they did.
“One of the games I heard we were going to be playing was ‘Win, Lose or Draw,’” Points noted. “I told my wife I can’t draw, so we better stay away from that one.”
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