Nick Dunlap, the 20-year-old school scholar who gained final week’s American Specific match on the PGA Tour, has introduced that he has determined to show skilled.
The College of Alabama sophomore induced a sensation final Sunday when turning into the primary newbie to win a PGA Tour occasion since 1991. Being an newbie, he missed out on the $1.5m first prize, however the victory earned him taking part in rights for the remainder of this season and all of subsequent yr, which proved too laborious a carrot to withstand.
Dunlap will make his first begin as knowledgeable subsequent week within the AT&T Pebble Seashore Professional-Am, which boasts a $20 million prize fund as one of many PGA Tour’s signature occasions.
“It was the simplest hardest choice I’ve ever needed to make, by far,” mentioned Dunlap, who needed to resign his place on his school golf crew half-way by way of the season. “Every week in the past in the present day, for those who advised me I’d have the chance to dwell out my dream as a 20-year-old – it’s fairly surreal. However it’s additionally scary, there’s loads of modifications. However I used to be given a very cool alternative and needed to chase that.”
Whereas he had already certified for the Masters, US Open and Open Championship as a consequence of profitable final summer season’s US Newbie title, Dunlap now qualifies for the Masters and the PGA Championship as a tour winner. The US Open permits the US Newbie champion to show skilled and nonetheless retain a spot within the subject, so the one main he isn’t presently certified for is the Open Championship, which requires him to have remained an newbie. He may earn his means into the season’s fourth main by way of his world rating. He’s presently 68th within the checklist – having risen greater than 4,000 locations with the win – and the highest 50 within the rating mechanically qualify for the Open when they’re launched in Might.
By turning skilled Dunlap is now additionally exempt into the sphere at subsequent month’s Genesis Invitational, in addition to the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Gamers Championship in March.