When's the last time an amateur won a PGA Tour tournament?
CMC PGA Tour

When’s the last time an amateur won a PGA Tour tournament?

A photo of Nick Dunlap
FOLLOW: iHEART | TUNEIN


It had been more than 30 years since the last time an amateur won on the PGA Tour, then University of Alabama product and reigning US Amateur champion Nick Dunlap changed that at the 2024 The American Express.

The last amateur to win on the PGA Tour is Dunlap, who prevailed in a playoff to become the first reigning US Amateur champion to win on the PGA Tour since Tiger Woods in 1996.

Prior to Dunlap, the last amateur to win on the PGA Tour was Phil Mickelson, who won the Nothern Telecom Open on Jan. 13, 1991, in Tucson, Ariz., by a shot over Tom Purtzer and Bob Tway. Mickelson was still a student at Arizona State University at the time.

Mickelson then turned pro later, so he did not collect the first-place prize money for winning the tournament. Tway and Purtzer split that instead.

Before Mickelson, the last of the seven amateurs to win on the PGA Tour is Scott Verplank, who won the 1985 Western Open. Doug Sanders won the 1956 Canadian Open as an amateur, while Gene Littler won the 1954 San Diego Open as part of the unpaid set.

The last amateur to finish inside the top five on the PGA Tour is Lee McCoy, who finished fourth in the 2016 Valspar Championship.

Amateurs to win on the PGA Tour

  • Frank Stranahan, 1945 Durham War Bond Tournament
  • Fred Haas, 1945 Memphis Invitational
  • Cary Middlecoff, 1945 North and South Open
  • Frank Stranahan, 1948 Miami Open
  • Gene Littler, 1954 San Diego Open
  • Doug Sanders, 1956 Canadian Open
  • Scott Verplank, 1985 Western Open
  • Phil Mickelson, 1991 Northern Telecom Open
  • Nick Dunlap, 2024 The American Express

The last amateur to win on the European Tour is Shane Lowry, who won the 2009 Irish Open as an amateur. Danny Lee won as an amateur earlier in the season in the 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic. Pablo Martin was the first amateur to win on the European Tour, taking the 2007 Estoril Portuguese Open.

The last amateur to win on the LPGA Tour is Lydia Ko, who won the Canadian Women's Open (now called the Canada Pacific Women's Open) in back-to-back years in 2012 and '13 at the ages of 15 and 16.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

Ryan talks about golf on various social platforms:

X or Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanballengee
Facebook: https://facebook.com/ryanballengeegolf
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ryanballengee
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@ryanballengeegolf

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

Ryan occasionally links to merchants of his choosing, and GNN may earn a commission from sales generated by those links. See more in GNN's affiliate disclosure.