Alabama Sophomore Nick Dunlap Turns Pro, Joins PGA Tour After Historic win as Amateur

Alabama Sophomore Nick Dunlap Turns Pro, Joins PGA Tour After Historic win as Amateur
Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerX.com LogoFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2024

LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 21: Nick Dunlap of the United States poses for a photo with the trophy after winning The American Express at Pete Dye Stadium Course on January 21, 2024 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images

Alabama sophomore Nick Dunlap announced Thursday he’s going pro and joining the PGA Tour.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

20-year-old @NickDunlap62 has announced he’s turning pro!

The @AlabamaMGolf star and @TheAmExGolf winner has accepted TOUR membership. pic.twitter.com/rAOUNXEjn8

He said at a press conference Thursday this “was the easiest-hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.”

Dunlap’s announcement comes on the heels of his victory in The American Express at La Quinta Country Club. The 20-year-old was the youngest amateur to win a tour event since 1910.

As a freshman for the Crimson Tide, Dunlap was a first-team All-SEC honoree and tied for 11th at the NCAA championships. He also bested Neal Shipley 4 and 3 in the U.S. Amateur last August, joining a number of legendary figures in the sport.

Given the strong year he had, his move up to the PGA Tour was inevitable.

Dunlap had been entered into the Farmers Insurance Open, which teed off Wednesday, but withdrew to ponder his future.

Alabama coach Jay Seawell understood he could be losing one of his best players.

“If this is what he decides to do, we support him because we’ve done our job,” he said to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. “We’ve helped him, and he is a valuable part of our team and will be for the rest of his life. And if so, then we’ll move forward and we’ll support him in that. I’m going to let him make that decision with his family and all that. They’ve asked me to at least sit in on it, but in the end it will be their decision.”

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which runs from Feb. 1-4, is the next stop on the tour schedule and where Dunlap will make his full professional debut. He didn’t earn any points toward the FedExCup or Presidents Cup, but he will from this point forward after forgoing his amateur status.

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