Nick Dunlap, the College of Alabama sophomore who on Sunday turned the primary newbie to win on the PGA Tour in additional than three a long time, has withdrawn from the sphere for this week’s Farmers Insurance coverage Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.
“After a life altering final 24 hours, I’ve determined to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance coverage Open,” Dunlap stated Monday in an announcement. “I plan to return dwelling to Alabama to be with household, buddies and teammates. Thanks to Farmers Insurance coverage and American Categorical for giving me these alternatives.”
With his victory on the American Categorical in La Quinta, California, Dunlap turned the primary newbie to win on tour since Phil Mickelson on the 1991 Northern Telecom Championship. The 20-year-old is barely the fifth newbie to win on tour since 1950 and the second-youngest champion previously 90 years. Jordan Spieth received the 2013 John Deere Traditional when he was 19.
As an newbie, Dunlap forfeited the $1.5 million winner’s purse and the five hundred FedEx Cup factors that got here with it.
Now, he should resolve whether or not to return to Alabama for the rest of his second collegiate season or be a part of the PGA Tour as a full-time member.
“I do not know,” Dunlap stated after his par putt on the 72nd gap gave him a 1-shot victory over South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout. “I’ve to take a second to let what simply occurred sink in a bit bit. That is a choice that is not nearly me. It impacts lots of people, and clearly I will attempt to get pleasure from this. It is a dialog I must have with lots of people earlier than I make that call.”
Discussions about Dunlap’s future began Sunday evening. By capturing the American Categorical, he earned full-time PGA Tour membership by way of the 2026 season. He can settle for that membership till 30 days after this season ends. He earned full exemptions of an expert winner, together with spots within the profitable signature-series occasions corresponding to subsequent month’s AT&T Pebble Seaside Professional-Am and the Gamers Championship, which have purses of no less than $20 million.
“If that is what he decides to do, we help him as a result of we have executed our job,” Alabama coach Jay Seawell advised ESPN on Monday. “We have helped him, and he’s a helpful a part of our group and shall be for the remainder of his life. And if that’s the case, then we’ll transfer ahead and we’ll help him in that. I will let him make that call together with his household and all that. They’ve requested me to no less than sit in on it, however in the long run will probably be their resolution.”
Dunlap is a lifelong Alabama fan and enjoys competing together with his teammates, Seawell stated. Dunlap had objectives of main the Crimson Tide to an SEC title and nationwide championship. He may nonetheless play within the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open as an newbie if he returns to highschool.
“He has an enormous sense of group, and also you noticed the response of our gamers,” Seawell stated. “They seem to be a very shut group, and leaving in the course of a season I do know would tear on him a bit bit. He did have goals when he got here.”
Alabama senior Canon Claycomb stated he would not fault Dunlap for turning professional. Dunlap’s teammates have been calling him one of many high 50 gamers on the earth for the previous a number of months, in response to Claycomb, after he turned solely the second participant — Tiger Woods is the opposite — to win each the U.S. Junior Novice and U.S. Novice.
“I do not assume anyone on the group would blame him,” Claycomb stated. “We wish Nick to do what the perfect factor for Nick is, and if that is him turning professional, then that is him turning professional. I do know he loves the group, and I do know he loves all of us, nevertheless it’s not about us on this second. It is about him and what he must do to be the perfect model of himself and to have the perfect alternative to play on the PGA Tour for a very long time.”
Alabama’s season resumes on the Watersound Invitational on Feb. 19. The group was returning to campus Sunday from a observe session in Orange Seaside, Alabama, when it pulled over to watch Dunlap make the 6-footer to win.
“We had been on a again highway,” Claycomb stated. “We pulled off within the middle-of-nowhere, Alabama. We barely had Wi-Fi, barely may watch, however we pulled off to the facet of the highway and watched that ultimate gap. It was superior.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 22, 2024
No matter what Dunlap decides, Seawell believes his star participant is greater than prepared for a full-time profession on the PGA Tour. Dunlap is the one participant to win the U.S. Junior Novice, the U.S. Novice and a PGA Tour occasion as an newbie. He carded an 11-under 59 and received a neighborhood match by 13 photographs when he was 12. In 2021, he posted a 62 in a Monday qualifier to make the sphere in a Korn Ferry Tour occasion.
“This wasn’t some child who caught lightning in a bottle,” Seawell stated. “I feel he’ll be a historic determine within the sport. I do. He is already executed issues that almost all have not executed, and I simply assume that is who he’s.
“If he stays wholesome and all of the issues that occur in athletics, I feel he could possibly be … I do not need to say Jack [Nicklaus] or Tiger, however he is the primary individual I’ve ever seen that could possibly be. I do not need to put that type of stress on him, however I do assume he is a man who I feel has the power and the mindset and the physicality to be historic on this sport.”