American Golf Sensation Nick Dunlap Makes Bold Move
America’s golf scene is buzzing with excitement as the country’s newest sensation, Nick Dunlap, has announced that he is turning professional just days after missing out on a staggering $1.5 million payday due to his amateur status.
The University of Alabama sophomore made this announcement during a press conference held on campus following his historic win at The American Express tournament last Sunday. As the first amateur golfer in over three decades to triumph on the tour, Dunlap has secured automatic PGA Tour membership through the end of the 2026 season.
Dunlap’s victory in La Quinta, California not only made him the youngest amateur golfer since 1910 to win a tour event but also granted him an “unbelievable” opportunity to chase his dreams as a professional athlete. Reflecting on his decision, he admitted that it was both easy and difficult at the same time.
“It was the easiest, hardest decision that I’ve ever had to make,” stated Dunlap during Thursday’s press conference. He expressed gratitude for having unanimous support from everyone around him including teammates and family members who encouraged him to seize this once-in-a-lifetime chance.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am scheduled for February 1 will mark Nick Dunlap’s debut as a professional golfer. To prepare for this exciting milestone, he withdrew from this week’s Farmers Insurance Open and returned home following his remarkable victory at The American Express tournament.
Before his triumph, Dunlap was ranked a modest 4,129th in the world. However, he defied expectations and shot an impressive 29-under par at the PGA West course, defeating numerous renowned players and seasoned pros. His Cinderella story propelled him to an astonishing jump of 4,061 places in the world rankings to claim the No. 68 spot.
Unfortunately, due to his amateur status at the time of the win, Dunlap did not receive any portion of the $8.4 million prize purse. Instead, South African runner-up Christiaan Bezuidenhout took home the winner’s cut amounting to $1.512 million.
In response to whether this victory will expedite his journey towards turning professional or not, Dunlap expressed uncertainty during an interview with PGA Tour Radio. He mentioned taking a moment for everything that has just happened to sink in before making further decisions about his future.
With guaranteed spots already secured in prestigious events such as The Players Championship and US Open along with seven remaining Signature Events on the PGA Tour calendar (formerly known as Designated Events), Nick Dunlap is poised for an exciting professional career ahead.