Nick Dunlap has the lead heading into the final round of the 2024 The American Express, the PGA Tour's first full-field event of the year in the mainland United States, played in Palm Springs, Calif. Dunlap could secure his first PGA Tour win against a strong field.
Dunlap is 20 years old, and he is playing on the PGA Tour this season after earning an exemption into the field. He is the reigning US Amateur champion, and he's a standout at the University of Alabama. He is playing as an amateur, and he's seeking to become the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson in 1991.
However, for Dunlap, his journey to the PGA Tour and being on the precipice of a life-changing PGA Tour win is a remarkable story.
Dunlap is staking his claim in the game
Nick Dunlap has won at every level, including at the University of Alabama, where he is a standout collegiate player.
He is the reigning US Amateur winner, taking the title last summer after taking the US Junior Amateur title the year prior to that.
Entering this week, Dunlap was 4,129th in the Official World Golf Ranking, but he is third in the men's side of the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He earned his way into this event through his status as a major champion in the amateur ranks.
In his personal life, Dunlap lives in Alabama, growing up in Huntsville and living there when he's not in school.
What a win in Palm Springs means
With a win today, Dunlap would earn the benefits of being a PGA Tour winner, including berths into the The Players in March, the Masters next April, the 2024 PGA Championship and British Open Championship in July.
He would gain a two-season exemption on the PGA Tour. However, as an amateur, he could not claim any of the 2024 The American Express payout, including the $1.512 million that is meant for the winner. The second-place player would earn that money instead.