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Nick Dunlap Turns into First Beginner To Win a PGA Tour Occasion Since 1991

Nick Dunlap Turns into First Beginner To Win a PGA Tour Occasion Since 1991

On 21 January 2024, Nick Dunlap scripted history by becoming the first amateur, since Phil Mickelson in 1991, to win the American Express Tournament of the PGA Tour. The 20-year-old also became the youngest amateur to achieve this feat since 1910.

Dunlap managed to get a six-foot par putt on the last to win The American Express title by just one shot from South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

Here are more details about Nick Dunlap winning the PGA Tour title

The final game

The American golfer ended the week on a high with 29-under-par, 259, and broke the tournament scoring record as a 72-hole event.

Dunlap sank the ball with a birdie putt at the par-five 16th to match the USA’s Sam Burns’ lead at the Pete Dye Stadium Course in La Quinta, California. After this, Burns faced the toughest hole of the day, “finding water off the tee at the par-three 17th,” states Sky Sports.

Dunlap was on the green, 35 feet (10.6 m) from the hole. While he made a routine par, Burns got a double bogey. The former marched ahead with a par-four 18th remaining, and Bezuidenhout birdied to pull within one on the 18th green.

In the final ending, Dunlap pulled his tee shot into the right rough of the ground and then went for par. He recorded a 72-hole record-low winning score of 29 under 259 to claim victory.

Reactions on the win

For Dunlap, “It’s so cool to be experiencing this as an amateur,” BBC quoted him saying.

“Whether I had made that or missed that, if you would have told me come Wednesday night I would have a putt to win this golf tournament, I wouldn’t believe you,” he added.

However, Dunlap will not be collecting the USD 1.5 million prize money due to his amateur status. It will be handed over to runner-up Christiaan Bezuidenhout. Although he doesn’t receive the 500 FedEx Cup points either, Dunlap will now have an exemption from PGA Tour events till 2026.

Mickelson took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share his appreciation

What does this mean for Nick Dunlap’s amateur status?

This major victory allows Dunlap to turn pro at any point before the 2026 season. However, he would want to enjoy the moment first, he told BBC.

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“I don’t know. I have to take a second to let what just happened sink in a little bit,” he said, adding, “That’s a decision that’s not just about me. It affects a lot of people, and obviously I’m going to try to enjoy this.”

Whether he declares pro or not, the sophomore student at the University of Alabama will get a chance to compete in the Masters, US Open and British Open on the virtue of being the reigning US Amateur champion.

If he becomes a pro, Dunlap will get access to the Masters and US Open, along with seven other signature events on the tour.

Dunlap also holds the stunning record of being the second golfer ever to win both the US Amateur (2023) and the US Junior Amateur championships (2021). Tiger Woods is the other person.

(Hero and feature image credit: Nick Dunlap/ @nick.dunlap10/ Instagram)

Source: Prestige Online

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