Nick Dunlap, the College of Alabama sophomore who on Sunday turned the primary novice to win on the PGA Tour in additional than three many years, has withdrawn from the sector for this week’s Farmers Insurance coverage Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.
“After a life altering final 24 hours, I’ve determined to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance coverage Open,” Dunlap mentioned Monday in an announcement. “I plan to return dwelling to Alabama to be with household, buddies and teammates. Thanks to Farmers Insurance coverage and American Specific for giving me these alternatives.”
With his victory on the American Specific in La Quinta, California, Dunlap turned the primary novice to win on tour since Phil Mickelson on the 1991 Northern Telecom Championship. The 20-year-old is simply the fifth novice to win on tour since 1950 and the second-youngest champion prior to now 90 years. Jordan Spieth gained the 2013 John Deere Traditional when he was 19.
As an novice, Dunlap forfeited the $1.5 million winner’s purse and the five hundred FedEx Cup factors that got here with it.
Now, he should determine whether or not to return to Alabama for the rest of his second collegiate season or be part of the PGA Tour as a full-time member.
“I do not know,” Dunlap mentioned after his par putt on the 72nd gap gave him a 1-shot victory over South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout. “I’ve to take a second to let what simply occurred sink in a bit bit. That is a choice that is not nearly me. It impacts lots of people, and clearly I’ll attempt to take pleasure in this. It is a dialog I have to have with lots of people earlier than I make that call.”
Discussions about Dunlap’s future began Sunday evening. By capturing the American Specific, he earned full-time PGA Tour membership via the 2026 season. He can settle for that membership till 30 days after this season ends. He earned full exemptions of knowledgeable winner, together with spots within the profitable signature-series occasions reminiscent of subsequent month’s AT&T Pebble Seashore Professional-Am and the Gamers Championship, which have purses of a minimum of $20 million.
“If that is what he decides to do, we assist him as a result of we have achieved our job,” Alabama coach Jay Seawell informed ESPN on Monday. “We have helped him, and he’s a helpful a part of our crew and might be for the remainder of his life. And in that case, then we’ll transfer ahead and we’ll assist him in that. I’ll let him make that call along with his household and all that. They’ve requested me to a minimum of sit in on it, however ultimately will probably be their determination.”
Dunlap is a lifelong Alabama fan and enjoys competing along with his teammates, Seawell mentioned. Dunlap had targets of main the Crimson Tide to an SEC title and nationwide championship. He may nonetheless play within the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open as an novice if he returns to highschool.
“He has an enormous sense of crew, and also you noticed the response of our gamers,” Seawell mentioned. “They seem to be a very shut group, and leaving in the course of a season I do know would tear on him a bit bit. He did have goals when he got here.”
Alabama senior Canon Claycomb mentioned he would not fault Dunlap for turning professional. Dunlap’s teammates have been calling him one of many prime 50 gamers on the planet for the previous a number of months, in accordance with Claycomb, after he turned solely the second participant — Tiger Woods is the opposite — to win each the U.S. Junior Beginner and U.S. Beginner.
“I do not assume anyone on the crew would blame him,” Claycomb mentioned. “We would like Nick to do what the most effective factor for Nick is, and if that is him turning professional, then that is him turning professional. I do know he loves the crew, and I do know he loves all of us, but it surely’s not about us on this second. It is about him and what he must do to be the most effective model of himself and to have the most effective alternative to play on the PGA Tour for a very long time.”
Alabama’s season resumes on the Watersound Invitational on Feb. 19. The crew was returning to campus Sunday from a follow session in Orange Seashore, Alabama, when it pulled over to watch Dunlap make the 6-footer to win.
“We had been on a again street,” Claycomb mentioned. “We pulled off within the middle-of-nowhere, Alabama. We barely had Wi-Fi, barely may watch, however we pulled off to the aspect of the street and watched that remaining gap. It was superior.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 22, 2024
No matter what Dunlap decides, Seawell believes his star participant is greater than prepared for a full-time profession on the PGA Tour. Dunlap is the one participant to win the U.S. Junior Beginner, the U.S. Beginner and a PGA Tour occasion as an novice. He carded an 11-under 59 and gained an area event by 13 pictures when he was 12. In 2021, he posted a 62 in a Monday qualifier to make the sector in a Korn Ferry Tour occasion.
“This wasn’t some child who caught lightning in a bottle,” Seawell mentioned. “I believe he will be a historic determine within the recreation. I do. He is already achieved issues that almost all have not achieved, and I simply assume that is who he’s.
“If he stays wholesome and all of the issues that occur in athletics, I believe he could possibly be … I do not need to say Jack [Nicklaus] or Tiger, however he is the primary individual I’ve ever seen that could possibly be. I do not need to put that sort of strain on him, however I do assume he is a man who I believe has the flexibility and the mindset and the physicality to be historic on this recreation.”