Nick Dunlap, 20-year-old amateur golfer, wins PGA tour's The American Express held at the PGA West golf course in La Quinta, California.
Despite facing seasoned professionals, Dunlap emerged victorious, showcasing unparalleled skill and poise.
Nick Dunlap, an amateur golfer from the University of Alabama, made history by becoming the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event since 1991. His exceptional performance at The American Express tournament left spectators and the golfing world in awe.
Dunlap's remarkable score of 29-under par secured his victory, narrowly edging out South African professional Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who finished just one stroke behind in second place.
Despite outplaying seasoned professionals, Dunlap, due to his amateur status, won't be taking home the $1,512,000 prize. Instead, the first-place prize goes to runner-up Bezuidenhout.
Dunlap's score not only secured his victory but also set a new tournament scoring record for a 72-hole event. His 29-under-par performance showcased not only his skill but also the resilience of a player destined for greatness.
Nick Dunlap reacts after making his putt on the 18th hole of the Pete Dye Stadium Course during the final round to win the American Express golf tournament on Sunday, January 21, 2024.
This win is just the latest triumph in Dunlap's burgeoning career. Having already clinched the US Amateur championship last year, he joined the ranks of golf legend Tiger Woods as the only player to win both the US Amateur and the US Junior Amateur championships.
While Dunlap's amateur status prevents him from claiming the prize money, his victory qualifies him to turn professional at any point, with automatic membership in the 2024 PGA Tour through the 2026 season.
However, the young golfer remains uncertain about his next steps, emphasizing the impact of this decision on many people.
In a post-win interview, Dunlap expressed his gratitude and the surreal experience of competing at such a high level as an amateur. The nail-biting final holes and the pressure of the moment left him in awe, making this victory all the more special.
I’ve learned so much today, and I’m so grateful to be here. To see some of the people rooting for me was really special.- Nick Dunlap
Golf enthusiasts and professionals worldwide have lauded Dunlap's achievement. Phil Mickelson, the last amateur to win a PGA Tour event in 1991, congratulated Dunlap, calling it an "impressive performance" and predicting that this is just the beginning of his extraordinary journey in the golfing world.
As Dunlap stands at the crossroads of his golfing career, the decision to remain an amateur or turn professional looms large.
Regardless of the path he chooses, Nick Dunlap's historic win will be etched in the annals of golfing history, leaving fans eager to witness the next chapter of his extraordinary journey.
Dunlap expressed uncertainty in an interview with PGA Tour Radio following his win, stating that he was uncertain about his next steps.
I have to take a second to let what just happened sink in a little bit. 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.- Nick Dunlap
Nick Dunlap's historic triumph at The American Express not only cements his status as a rising golf prodigy but also adds a compelling chapter to the legacy of amateur achievements in professional golf.
As he contemplates his next steps, Dunlap's journey promises to captivate fans and shape the future of the sport.