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What does the future hold for Nick Dunlap after PGA Tour breakthrough?

Nick Dunlap, who is still a sophomore college student, stunned the golf world on Sunday when he became the first amateur in 33 years to win on the PGA Tour.

Here we take a look at what the University of Alabama amateur has achieved and what his victory in California means for the 20-year-old.

Who is Nick Dunlap?

Dunlap is a 20-year-old golfer who became the first amateur player for 33 years to win on the PGA Tour following his one-shot triumph at the American Express in January 2024.

The American, who shot a 59 at his local course in Alabama at the age of 12, won the US Junior Amateur Championship in 2021 and then went to the University of Alabama to join their elite golf programme.

He claimed the US Amateur Championship in 2023 by beating Gordon Sargent in the final showdown and he became only the second player alongside Tiger Woods to win both the Junior and Amateur Championships.

Dunlap claimed a two-shot lead at La Quinta in California after receiving a sponsors’ exemption for the tournament and became the second-youngest winner on the PGA Tour in the last 90 years and the eighth amateur victor on the Tour since the Second World War.

What tournaments has Nick Dunlap won?

Dunlap claimed his first PGA Tour victory when he won the American Express in January 2024 by two shots from South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout, carding a final round of 70.

That followed a third-round 60 which tied the record lowest score for 18 holes by an amateur on the PGA Tour, which he now jointly holds with Patrick Cantlay.

He has previously won the US Junior Amateur Championship and was US Amateur champion in 2023.

How many other amateurs have won tournaments on the PGA Tour?

Dunlap has become the eighth amateur to win on the PGA Tour since the Second World War, the first of which was Cary Middlecoff, who triumphed in the 1945 North and South Open.

Fred Haas won the Memphis Invitational that year before Frank Stranahan claimed the first of his four titles in the Durham War Bond Tournament.

Gene Littler won the San Diego Open in 1954 and Doug Sanders was the Canadian Open champion in 1956 before we had to wait nearly 30 years for another amateur triumph in 1985 when Scott Verplank won the Western Open.

The last amateur before Sunday was six-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, when he triumphed at the Tucson Open in 1991 at the age of 20.

How many amateurs have won tournaments on the DP World Tour?

There have been three amateur winners on the DP World Tour, all of which triumphed when it was contested under its old name of the European Tour.

Pablo Martin Benavides was the first when he won the Estoril Open in 2007 and there were two non-professional victories in 2009 when Danny Lee won the Johnnie Walker Classic and future Open champion Shane Lowry triumphed at the Irish Open.

What exemptions does Nick Dunlap now have?

Dunlap’s victory at the American Express means he has a two-year exemption from qualifying for his PGA Tour card.

He has also gained entry to this year’s Masters, US PGA Championship, which takes place at Valhalla GC in Louisville, Kentucky in May and the Players Championship at Sawgrass in March.

What tournaments can Nick Dunlap play in if he remains an amateur?

Dunlap’s victory in the US Amateur means he qualifies for the Masters in April, the US Open, which will be played at Pinehurst in June, and the Open Championship, which will be played in July in Royal Troon in Scotland.

He has previously appeared twice at the US Open in 2022 and 2023, missing the cut on both occasions.

What tournaments could Nick Dunlap access if he decides to turn professional?

A US Amateur Championship winner would have to give up his place at the Masters if he turned professional before the next gathering at Augusta, but Sunday’s PGA Tour victory would still mean that Dunlap was still eligible.

There is dispensation for US Amateur winners who subsequently turn pro to still play in the following US Open, and while the Open Championship invitation would be withdrawn, Dunlap could still look to play in the seven prestigious signature events that remain on this year’s PGA Tour schedule.

Those tournaments are the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the Genesis Invitational, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship, Memorial Tournament and the Travelers Championship, and he would not be eligible for these if he remains in the amateur ranks.

How much money would Nick Dunlap have won at the American Express had he been a professional?

Dunlap would have won $1.51million had he been a professional when he won the American Express Championship.

PGA Tour rules stipulate that not only are amateurs banned from picking up any prize money in their tournaments but they cannot turn professional during the course of a tournament when it looks as if they could land a big sum of winnings.

The first prize at the American Express Championship was awarded to South African runner-up Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

Will Nick Dunlap play in this week's Farmers Insurance Open?

Dunlap is entered in this week’s Farmers Insurance Open and is available to back at 80/1 for a back-to-back victory.

Xander Schauffele, who finished two shots behind him at the American Express is 9/1 favourite for glory, while Patrick Cantlay and Max Homa are both available to back at 10/1.

Play at Torrey Pines, which will use both the North and South Courses at the San Diego venue, will begin on Wednesday.

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