Nick Dunlap didn’t take long to make a decision about his golf future, announcing this morning that he is turning pro and will tee it up in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am next week as a member of the PGA Tour.
Dunlap’s victory last week in the American Express in which he became the first amateur in 33 years to win on the PGA Tour created the lucrative opportunity for the 20-year-old to fast-forward his career path.
Fully exempt through 2026 and locked into the $20 million, limited-field signature events this year, Dunlap made his announcement at the University of Alabama, where he is a sophomore on the men’s golf team.
“It was the easiest, hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, by far,” said Dunlap, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion.
After winning on Sunday, Dunlap withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open this week to return to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to make the decision about his future.
He talked with his family, Alabama golf coach Jay Seawell, his teammates and others about his options. Dunlap told his teammates on Tuesday that he had decided to turn professional.
“Everybody had a say. Everybody had the same opinion about it,” said Dunlap, who was teary-eyed while making his announcement. “They were very supportive and wanted me to chase my dream.
“A week ago today the first round (of the American Express) started … A week ago, if you told me I had the opportunity to live out my dream as a 20-year-old, it’s pretty surreal but it’s also scary. There are a lot of changes.”
Dunlap jumped more than 4,000 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking after his victory, landing at No. 68 this week. He also accomplished a personal goal of becoming the top-ranked amateur in the world.
He will forgo the spring season at Alabama, but Dunlap intends to remain based at the school for the foreseeable future.
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