The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

Nick Dunlap makes tour history

Lance Hamak
This picture was taken at Kapalua golf club during The Sentry tournament of champions.

On January 21st, 2024, Alabama sophomore Nick Dunlap surged to the top of the headlines as he triumphed over a professional golf field winning by one stroke. This win made a large mark in the history books as he became the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event in over 30 years.

Dunlap had made the record books multiple times during an unforgettable week at the American Express in La Quinta, California. He had started his week off strong with scores of 64 and 65 totaling to 15 under par setting himself up in a great position for the weekend. The big charge came on Sunday when Dunlap shot a 12 under 60 to give him a three shot lead in front of Sam Burns and tying the lowest round ever by an amateur on the PGA Tour. 

Going down the stretch of  the final two holes Dunlap was all tied up with Burns at 29 under par. The par three 17th would be where the drama hits. As Dunlap had safely landed on the green, Burns got too aggressive and hit it in the water costing him a double and giving Dunlap a 2-stroke lead. With a birdie from the group ahead, Christiaan Bezuidenhout put himself one stroke from Dunlap which meant all he had to do was make a par. After missing the green on his approach, Dunlap chipped it to 6 feet.

Staring down the Putt, Dunlap’s caddie sprinkled in some humor to settle his nerves saying, “Your mom could make this.”

As he made the putt, a big fist pump followed and he was crowned the champion. 

As an amateur in competition, Dunlap missed out on the $1,512,000 check and 500 FedEx cup points. However, he would be offered with PGA tour status that he has always dreamed of. 

On Thursday January 25th, 2024, Dunlap would make his decision to turn professional: “It was the easiest hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.”

As Dunlap will miss college life along with his golf team, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity of his dreams to play on the PGA Tour. Concluding last week’s win, Dunlap has now declared his professional status where he is now the Tour’s newest member gaining entry to all 2024 signature events and having full PGA tour status through the 2026 season. 


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About the Contributor
Lance Hamak, Journalist
Grade: Senior Hobbies: Wake surfing, hanging out with friends, and traveling Favorite Season: Summer Favorite Food: Steak Future Plans: Playing golf at The University of South Dakota