In what seemed like an easy decision, newly-minted PGA Tour champion Nick Dunlap announced on Thursday morning that he’s turning pro.
With his victory at The Amex in Palm Springs, Dunlap became the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson in 1991, and just the third since the modern era, post-1960 (Scott Verplank in 1985).
The 20-year-old Alabama star is also the second-youngest PGA Tour champion in the past 90 years, with only Jordan Spieth, who won the 2013 John Deere Classic at 19, younger.
Dunlap will make his pro debut on tour at next week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a signature-series event.
“It was the easiest, hardest decision that I’ve ever had to make,” said Dunlap. “I was very fortunate that everyone had the same opinion about it, and my teammates were awesome and very supportive.
“It goes back to the family that Alabama has. They were very supportive and wanted me to chase my dreams.”
Dunlap’s victory gave him full exemption for the remainer of the current season, and then two full seasons thereafter. Because his win occurred in only the third event of the 2024 season, he’s essentially getting three full seasons of exemptions, through the 2026 campaign.
“It’s a week today that the first round started, and a week ago, if you had told me that I had the opportunity to live out my dream as a 20-year-old — it’s pretty surreal,” said Dunlap, who reportedly received a phone call from former Alabama football coach, and golf fanatic, Nick Saban.
“But it’s also scary. There’s a lot of changes.”
Information from ESPN, the Associated Press and Reuters was used to compile this report.