Who is Nick Dunlap? Meet the amateur on the verge of PGA Tour history


Nick Dunlap is familiar with making golf background.

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Nick Dunlap has an opportunity to make background Sunday, yet that would not also be the very first time in the previous couple of months for the 20-year-old.

The Alabama student heads right into the last round of the American Express at PGA West 3 shots free from the area. The men chasing him? They’re all experts. Dunlap is an amateur, seeming the initial to win on the PGA Tour given that Phil Mickelson in 1991.

Did individuals see this coming? Not truly. Dunlap has actually had a fabled junior and amateur occupation so far, yet that success had yet to equate to the PGA Tour up until today. In 3 previous PGA Tour begins, consisting of the last 2 U.S. Opens, Dunlap has actually 3 missed out on cuts.

Whether or not Dunlap comes away with the win Sunday in La Quinta, he’ll still be a name to enjoy moving on in the highest degree of event golf. Keeping that, below are 7 points to understand about Dunlap as he goes after background Sunday.

7 points to understand about Nick Dunlap

1. He’s currently in rarefied air

As kept in mind over, if Dunlap wins the American Express, he’ll be the initial amateur to win on the PGA Tour in 33 years, finishing the lengthiest dry spell without an amateur victor given that World War II. Mickelson was the last to complete the task placing Dunlap in excellent firm with the six-time significant victor, yet that’s absolutely nothing he’s not utilized to.

Nick Dunlap reacts to making a long putt on hole 27 during the final match of the 2023 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills C.C. in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023.

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Not just did Dunlap’s third-round 60 make him a couple of beginners, together with Patrick Cantlay, to fire that number on the PGA Tour, yet he’s additionally achieved something just Tiger Woods has as well. This previous summertime, Dunalp won the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Country Club to contribute to his 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur title. Dunlap and Woods are the only 2 gamers to have actually won both those titles.

2. He rallied to win at Cherry Hills

While he will certainly function to safeguard the lead Sunday at PGA West, Dunlap placed himself in an opening early finally summertime’s U.S. Amateur. Early in stroke-play certifying, Dunlap was 5 over with 7 openings. He attributed his caddie that week, long time advisor and previous professional Jeff Curl, with assisting him right the ship and eventually make suit play by 2 shots. The remainder was background.

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3. A suit play pundit

Once Dunlap made suit dip into Cherry Hills, background remained in his support. By the time he secured the Havermeyer prize with a 4 and 3 success over Neal Shipley, he had actually created a 30-2 run in his last 32 suits over the previous 2 years.

He experienced 2 losses at the Walker Cup last September– while still gaining 1.5 factors for the successful U.S. side in his various other 2 suits– yet offseted it by beating Luke Poulter at the SEC Match Play last autumn.

4. Going reduced is absolutely nothing brand-new

Dunlap required 2 birdies for 59 over his last 4 openings Saturday. While he just obtained one, he’s familiar with getting on 59-watch. Currently this college period, he published a 60 throughout the 2nd round of the Hamptons Intercollegiate. His crazy-low ratings get back at a lot more outstanding as he carded a 59 at Highland Golf Club in Birmingham back in 2013 prior to he began his seventh-grade year. Yes, 7th (7th) quality …

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5. An excellent professional contrast

While Dunlap’s name is currently obtaining stated in the exact same breath as Woods, Mickelson and Cantlay, he thinks his video game is most comparable to one more titan of the video game: Dustin Johnson.

” I assume my lengthy video game and driving are rather comparable,” Dunlap stated on GOLF’s Subpar podcast last autumn. “I study the previous number of years my placing has actually obtained a lot far better. It’s something I’ve concentrated a whole lot on, specifically this initial year at Bama.”

His statistics today back that up as he’s 7th in the area in driving range and throughout the 2nd round, his just one with strokes-gained information, he was 2nd in strokes acquired: placing.

6. Roll Tide Roll

As a participant of the Crimson Tide golf group and Alabama indigenous, Dunlap stated he’s obtained the possibility to be familiar with now-former Alabama football trainer Nick Saban.

” So he invests a great deal of time at our center,” Dunlap stated on Subpar. “” What’s amazing concerning him is he’s 71 or 72, nevertheless old he is, yet he does not simply most likely to play golf and enjoy. He has that one-upmanship. He’s constantly attempting to improve.

” Before I left for the Am, [Saban] rested for 2.5 hours simply choosing my mind on what he can improve at.”

As destiny would certainly have it, Dunlap is coupled with Alabama alum Justin Thomas Sunday, along with Sam Burns, that shed a bank on Alabama football to Thomas today.

7. A career-altering day

While Dunlap can not take home any one of the $1.512 million first-place check today– or any one of the $8.4 million bag– Sunday still has a lot of effects need to he win.

Winners on the PGA Tour protected subscription for the following 2 periods and Dunlap would certainly be no exemption, must he transform professional later. He in fact has the alternative to postpone his subscription– and hence his choice to transform professional– up till 30 days after the final thought of the 2024 PGA Tour period. It would certainly be excellent with the end of the 2026 period if he picks to transform professional and take benefit of his subscription.

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If he does not select to occupy subscription in time for 2025, he would certainly have an opportunity to make the most of subscription for 2026, yet he would certainly need to decide right into it (and transform professional) within 30 days of the final thought of the 2025 period.

Additionally, if he transforms professional, he is excluded right into every one of the staying PGA Tour Signature occasions this period, although he will certainly obtain no retroactive FedEx Cup factors for today.

He has a number of factors to remain an amateur for the time being, besides at the very least completing out the existing springtime period in Alabama. In order to hold on to his exception right into the Open Championship from winning the U.S. Am, Dunlap requires to remain an amateur. As well his Masters exception, nevertheless, he would certainly obtain a brand-new one as a champion of a PGA Tour occasion and one right into the PGA Championship. He is permitted to transform professional and preserve his exception right into the U.S. Open.

He can additionally still play in full-field PGA Tour occasions if he does not transform pro out of the event victor’s group, although he would certainly be restricted to simply 12 beginnings as a nonmember up until he transforms professional and triggers his subscription.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania local, Jack is a 2020 grad of Penn State University, gaining levels in program journalism and government. He was captain of his secondary school golf group and just recently went back to the program to function as head trainer. Jack additionally still * attempts * to continue to be affordable in neighborhood beginners. Prior to signing up with GOLF, Jack invested 2 years operating at a television terminal in Bend, Oregon, mainly as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, yet additionally creating, securing and also providing the weather condition. He can be gotten to at [email protected].

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