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What winning The American Express means for Nick Dunlap's PGA TOUR status

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Dunlap undecided about his next steps, but here are his options

    Written by Staff

    What will Nick Dunlap do next?

    That was the question that came to the collective mind of the golf world almost immediately after Nick Dunlap made his 6-foot par putt to win The American Express.

    Dunlap is the first amateur to win on the PGA TOUR since Phil Mickelson in 1991. Last year, he became the only player other than Tiger Woods to win both the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Amateur.

    That’s elite company to be a part of. Now Dunlap has the opportunity to become a full-time member of the PGA TOUR.

    That decision will have to wait, however. In an interview with PGA TOUR Radio immediately after his victory, Dunlap understandably said he was undecided about what’s next.

    “I don’t know,” he said. “I have to take a second to let what just happened sink in a little bit. That’s a decision that’s not just about me. It effects a lot of people, and obviously I’m going to try to enjoy this.

    “It’s a conversation I need to have with a lot of people before I make that decision.”

    Below are the options that await Dunlap after his historic victory in La Quinta, California.

    Implications for this week

    Dunlap does not earn prize money or FedExCup points, regardless of whether he turns pro immediately following the event.

    • Prize money moves down to the next player. Bezuidenhout, who finished solo second, receives the winner's prize money. The three players who finished in a three-way T3 receive prize money as if they finished in a three-way T2, and so on.
    • FedExCup points, however, do not carry over.
      • No one will be awarded the winner's 500 points, and Dunlap will not earn them retroactively if he turns pro.
      • Bezuidenhout will receive 300 points. Dunlap’s 500 points will not be allocated to the field.

    Dunlap membership implications

    • 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.
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