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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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First Amateur PGA Tour Win Since ’91 Is a Nice Payday for Everyone Else

  • Nick Dunlap, 20, won The American Express tournament this weekend.
  • As an amateur, Dunlap is not allowed to accept any prize money.
Desert Sun

Normally, a bunch of professional golfers losing to a college student would be a tad bit embarrassing. But Nick Dunlap’s historic victory at The American Express ended up being a financial boon for the other 66 golfers that earned a piece of the $8.4 million overall purse for making the cut.

Dunlap, a 20-year-old sophomore at Alabama, became the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event since Phil Mickelson in 1991, but was not allowed to accept the $1,512,000 winner’s check since he hasn’t turned professional yet. That sum went to Christiaan Bezuidenhout, the 29-year-old South African pro who finished in second place. Everybody else also got a little more than they would have if an amateur had not won on Sunday in California’s Coachella Valley. Here’s what some of the top finishers won, thanks to Dunlap’s amateur status (and would have otherwise won):

  • 2nd place: Christiaan Bezuidenhout $1,512,000 ($915,600)
  • Tied for 3rd: Kevin Yu $635,600 ($445,200)
  • Tied for 3rd: Xander Schauffele $635,600 ($445,200)
  • Tied for 3rd: Justin Thomas $635,600 ($445,200)
  • Tied for 6th: Sam Burns $310,800 ($283,500)
  • Tied for 6th: Michael Kim $310,800 ($283,500)
  • Tied for 6th: Adam Hadwin $310,800 ($283,500)

While the full allotment of prize money was still paid out in lieu of Dunlap’s win, no one in the field received the 500 FedEx Cup points available to the winner of The American Express.

Will Amateur Turn Pro?

Dunlap’s victory gives him full membership status on the PGA Tour through the 2026 season, but after the tournament he said he wasn’t sure when he would officially turn professional. He was already set to play this week’s Farmers Insurance Open under a sponsor’s exemption.

No matter what he decides, Dunlap will be playing at the Masters in April. He had earned an invite by way of his U.S. Amateur win last summer, but that was contingent on him not turning pro. His PGA Tour victory on Sunday secured his spot at Augusta, pro or amateur. Dunlap also has an NIL deal with Adidas.

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