American Express winner Nick Dunlap is turning pro

Ronan MacNamara
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Nick Dunlap after winning The American Express (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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American Express winner Nick Dunlap will play in the opening signature event on the PGA Tour after announcing he is turning pro.

Dunlap will make his professional debut at next week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after taking up PGA Tour membership.

The American became the first amateur in 33 years to win on the PGA Tour last Weeknd and he announced in a press conference at the University of Alabama.

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“It was the easiest, hardest decision that I’ve ever had to make,” Dunlap said on Thursday having withdrawn from this week’s Farmers Insurance Open.

“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, a sophomore at Alabama, won The American Express in La Quinta, California, on Jan. 21. He is the first player to win the U.S. Junior Amateur, U.S. Amateur and a PGA TOUR event while still an amateur and is the second-youngest TOUR winner since World War II (behind only Jordan Spieth).

Dunlap made the largest move in OWGR history at the weekend, rising to 68th in the world and he also has a tour exemption through to the end of the 2026 season.

He will also be exempt for the season’s seven remain signature events, the Players and three of the majors this year (Masters, US Open, PGA Championship).

His win at the 2023 U.S. Amateur earned him a spot in this year’s U.S. Open. The tournament allows the reigning U.S. Amateur champion to compete as a professional, so he maintains that exemption. The R&A has yet to announce exemption criteria for The 152nd Open Championship.

Because he was an amateur when he won The American Express, Dunlap does not receive the FedExCup points or Presidents Cup points from his victory. He is eligible to receive FedExCup points in all TOUR events moving forward. He will not receive retroactive earnings for The American Express victory, either.

During a glittering amateur career, Dunlap won the US Amateur Championship, the 2023 Walker Cup with the USA in St Andrews and the World Amateur Team Championships with the USA, before his Amex win took him to world number one amateur.

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