Amateur Sensation Nick Dunlap Makes History with PGA Tour Victory at American Express Tournament

In a stunning display of skill and determination, Nick Dunlap, the reigning US Amateur champion, has become the first amateur in three decades to win a PGA Tour title. The 20-year-old sophomore from the University of Alabama emerged victorious at the American Express tournament after a thrilling back-nine showdown.

Dunlap’s final round was nothing short of exceptional as he fired a two-under-par 70 at the challenging Pete Dye Stadium Course, one of the three courses used during the tournament. With nerves of steel, he sank a crucial par putt from just inside six feet on the 18th hole to secure the win. His 72-hole total of 29-under 259 set a new record low winning score, breaking the previous mark of 28-under set by Patrick Reed in 2014.

Despite this remarkable achievement, Dunlap will not receive any prize money as he is ineligible as an amateur. Instead, the winner’s prize of $1.51 million goes to the runner-up, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who finished on 260 after a closing 65.

Dunlap’s victory marks a significant milestone in golf history. He became the first amateur to win a US PGA Tour event since Phil Mickelson’s triumph at the 1991 Northern Telecom Open in Tucson, Arizona. Additionally, Dunlap is now the second-youngest PGA Tour winner in the past 90 years, with only Jordan Spieth’s victory at the age of 19 in the 2013 John Deere Classic surpassing his achievement.

The road to victory was not without its fair share of drama. Dunlap found himself in a tense battle with 24th-ranked American Sam Burns as they entered the final stretch. A birdie putt at the par-5 16th allowed Dunlap to share the lead with Burns. However, the momentum shifted in Dunlap’s favor when Burns found water off the tee at the challenging par-3 17th, resulting in a double bogey. Meanwhile, Dunlap calmly made a routine par, giving him a two-shot lead with just the 18th hole remaining.

However, the excitement was far from over. As Dunlap prepared to take on the 18th, South Africa’s Bezuidenhout birdied to narrow the gap to just one stroke. With the pressure mounting, Dunlap’s tee shot veered into the right rough, leaving him with a challenging approach shot from 75 feet away, downhill. With the crowd holding their breath, Dunlap executed a remarkable shot that stopped just a few feet from the hole. He then calmly two-putted for par, securing his historic victory.

Reflecting on his win, Dunlap expressed his belief that the script was already written for him. Regardless of the outcome, he was determined to give it his all. His unwavering dedication and exceptional performance have undoubtedly left a lasting mark on the golfing world.

As Dunlap celebrates his groundbreaking achievement, golf enthusiasts around the globe are left in awe of his talent and the captivating story that unfolded at the American Express tournament. His triumph serves as a reminder that the sport’s greatest moments often arise from unexpected sources, and that the spirit of competition and perseverance can overcome any obstacle.

In a remarkable display of skill and composure, Nick Dunlap secured victory at the American Express tournament with a clutch par putt. His third shot landed just inside six feet, and he calmly sank the putt to claim the title. Dunlap, an amateur, expressed his disbelief and joy at the experience, stating that it was unlike anything he had ever felt before.

Reflecting on his journey, Dunlap admitted that he couldn’t have imagined having a putt to win the tournament just a few days prior. His performance serves as a testament to his talent and determination, as he defied expectations and emerged victorious against a competitive field.

Finishing in a tie for third place were Kevin Yu from Taiwan, who matched his career-low PGA round with a stellar 63, as well as Americans Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas. Their impressive performances showcased the depth of talent in the tournament and added to the excitement of the event.

While Dunlap will not receive the winner’s check due to his amateur status, his victory has significant implications for his future in professional golf. He will become eligible to take PGA Tour membership at any time during the 2024 PGA campaign. This means that he will have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a PGA Tour winner, including membership through the 2026 season and entries into prestigious events such as the Masters and PGA Championship, as well as any unplayed “signature” events.

Furthermore, Dunlap has already secured berths in this year’s Masters, PGA Championship, and British Open due to his US Amateur triumph. However, his participation in these events will depend on whether he maintains his amateur status when they take place.

Dunlap’s victory not only highlights his individual success but also serves as an inspiration to aspiring golfers around the world. His journey from amateur to PGA Tour champion exemplifies the potential for greatness that lies within each player, regardless of their status or experience. It is a reminder that hard work, dedication, and a belief in one’s abilities can lead to extraordinary achievements.

As Dunlap looks ahead to his future in professional golf, fans and enthusiasts eagerly anticipate witnessing his continued growth and success. His victory at the American Express tournament has undoubtedly marked him as a rising star in the sport, and the golfing world eagerly awaits his next chapter.