You can't blame Alabama sophomore golfer Nick Dunlap if he sounded a bit overwhelmed. Making history will do that.

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“This is like nothing I’ve ever felt. It’s so cool to just be out here and experience this as an amateur," Dunlap said after being the first non-pro to win a PGA event in 30 years. "Whether I made or missed that last putt, if you told me Wednesday night that come (Sunday) I’d have a putt to win this golf tournament – it’s just unbelievable.”

And he's right. But after winning the American Express event Sunday in Palm Sprins, CA, Dunlap has to make a decision: go pro or stay an Alabama golfer.

Here are the ramifications according to www.pgatour.com:

"Dunlap is eligible to take up PGA TOUR membership at any time during the 2024 PGA TOUR Season. He will get the typical exemption of a PGA TOUR winner.

    • Membership on the PGA TOUR through the 2026 PGA TOUR Season.
    • Exemptions into all 2024 Signature Events (provided he turns pro before those events), the Masters and PGA Championship.
    • Dunlap currently has exemptions into the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship as the winner of 2023 U.S. Amateur. His exemptions into the Masters and The Open are contingent on him remaining amateur, but if he turns pro, his win at The American Express makes him exempt into the Masters and PGA Championship as a PGA TOUR winner. The U.S. Open allows the U.S. Amateur champion to play in its tournament as a professional.
    • As a PGA TOUR winner, Dunlap is exempt into this year's THE PLAYERS regardless of if he turns professional
  • If Dunlap does not accept membership during the 2024 PGA TOUR Season, he has 30 days following the completion of the 2024 PGA TOUR Season to turn pro and take up membership for the 2025 PGA TOUR Season.
  • If Dunlap does turn pro and take up membership for the 2025 PGA TOUR Season, he will be exempt for next year’s The Sentry.
  • If Dunlap does not accept membership during the 30-day period after the conclusion of the 2024 PGA TOUR Season, he would then have to wait until the conclusion of the 2025 PGA TOUR Season to take up membership, in which case he has 30 days to take up membership for the 2026 PGA TOUR Season.
  • Regardless of when Dunlap takes up membership (after this week, next month or next year), it will only run through the 2026 PGA TOUR Season.
  • If Dunlap does not turn pro (and take up PGA TOUR membership), he can still participate in Full-Field Events out of the tournament winners category. He will be subject nonmember regulations (i.e. he can only compete in a maximum of 12 tournaments), however.
  • Even though PGA TOUR winners are exempt into all Signature Events for the remainder of the season, the Signature Events are limited to PGA TOUR members so Dunlap would not be able to participate before turning pro and taking up PGA TOUR membership."
  • Dunlap may have dropped a hint when a reporter asked him if he had homework to do Sunday night. "Yeah, but I'm probably not doing it."

     

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