The news that Nick Dunlap has turned professional has the golf world buzzing, although it came as a surprise to few fans. Dunlap has a wealth of opportunities ahead of him as he has begun a new stage of his career.
The news of Nick Dunlap starting his professional career was officially released on Thursday, January 25. The PGA Tour posted the press release on X (formerly Twitter), making Dunlap’s new situation official.
Fans reacted to the news in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at some of the reactions on X:
“When is he signing for LIV?”
In the press release issued on Thursday, the PGA Tour made some clarifications about Nick Dunlap‘s situation as he turns pro.
Here’s part of what the release reads (via PGA Tour Communications):
“Dunlap, the first reigning U.S. Amateur champion to win on TOUR since Tiger Woods in 1996, is exempt in 2024 for all Full-Field Events, the seven remaining Signature Events, THE PLAYERS Championship and three of the four major championships (Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, U.S. Open).”
“As he begins his career as a TOUR member, Dunlap starts with zero FedExCup points and will not appear in the FedExCup standings until he makes a cut as a professional and thus earns points. He does not retroactively receive the 500 FedExCup points for the win at The American Express upon turning professional and joining the TOUR.”
Where will Nick Dunlap make his professional debut?
k Dunlap has not issued any official statement as to which tournament will be chosen for his professional debut. However, the next stop on the PGA Tour is the second Signature Event of the season- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – for which Dunlap has qualified.
This is one of the most important events on the calendar, both for its purse ($20 million) and because it awards 700 FedEx Cup points to the winner. If he makes the cut in this event, Dunlap would be earning a place in the FedEx Cup ranking.
An interesting aspect is that Dunlap is already qualified for three of the four majors of the season, the one missing being The Open Championship. According to the PGA Tour press release, the R&A generally invites the reigning US Amateur champion only if he maintains his amateur status.
However, Dunlap has time to qualify for The Open as a professional. The British Open takes into account the Official World Golf Ranking top 50 (not otherwise exempt) and the FedEx Cup top 5 (not otherwise exempt).
Without having made his professional debut, Dunlap is already ranked 68th in the world. If he achieves good results during the eligibility period, he could improve his position and earn a place in The Open field.