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Mind Games

Nick Dunlap’s caddie hit him (and his mom) with an all-time dagger before his final putt

January 22, 2024

How do you keep a 20-year-old college sophomore calm while walking up the 18th fairway needing to sink a five-footer to become the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event in more than 30 years? That’s a question that would keep most caddies up at night, but for Hunter Hamrick—the Alabama looper who was on the bag for Nick Dunlap’s odds-defying victory at The American Express this weekend—the answer was simple:

Just talk some trash.

That’s right. With one of the biggest Cinderella stories in PGA Tour history hanging in the balance, Hamrick didn’t try to calm Dunlap or gas him up. He didn’t back off and give him space. Instead, when they got up to the ball, Hamrick gave Dunlap the read and then a little kick in the behind. “Your mom could make this putt,” he said.

Bringing mom into it on the 72nd hole is a bold move (Cotton), but it paid off for the duo, with Dunlap draining the putt and etching his name in the golf history books. We’re not sure this is a sustainable strategy—we know dudes, and eventually one of those mom jokes is going to cross the line—but as a one-time wild card, it worked like a charm.