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dunlap's decision

Is turning pro a no-brainer for Nick Dunlap? Here’s his status if he does or doesn’t

January 21, 2024

Orlando Ramirez

Nick Dunlap got up and down for par on the 72nd hole of the American Express Sunday to become the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson in 1991.

He shot 64-65-60-70 for a 29-under-par 259 total to defeat Christiaan Bezuidenhout by one shot. Kevin Yu, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas all tied for third place, two shots back.

With the difficult part complete for Dunlap, he does have a big decision ahead, one that seems obvious by turning pro. However, Dunlap said Sunday that it’s not one he’s going to rush because it’ll affect many different people—including him, his family and his Alabama teammates.

“I have no idea, I really don’t,” Dunlap said. “It’s really cool to have that opportunity in the first place.

“It’s a conversation I need to have with a lot of people before I make that decision.”

Until then, here are all the opportunities in front of Dunlap.

He can accept PGA Tour membership at any time during the season and will receive regular PGA Tour winner status. Once he accepts membership, he will be exempt through the 2026 season.

* By turning professional he will receive exemptions into all signature events, the Masters and PGA Championship. He would be eligible for the Sentry in Kapalua for 2025.

* As winner of the 2023 U.S. Amateur, Dunlap has exemptions into the Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship. Exemptions into the Masters and Open Championship are only for him if he remains an amateur. But by turning pro he would become exempt into the Masters and PGA Championship. The U.S. Open exemption will remain whether he remains amateur or turns professional.

* If Dunlap postpones PGA Tour membership, he has 30 days after this season to turn pro and accept membership for next year. If Dunlap does not accept membership after this season, he would have to wait until the end of the 2025 season to turn professional. However, it will only run through the 2026 season no matter when he accepts membership.

* If Dunlap does not turn pro, he can still play in full-field events as a winner on the PGA Tour. However, signature events are only available for PGA Tour members, meaning Dunlap would not be able to play as an amateur.