Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Star amateur Nick Dunlap is meeting Tuesday with his family, advisers and Alabama coaches to determine his next steps.

Dunlap, who on Sunday became the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since 1991, withdrew from this week’s Farmers Insurance Open so he could return to Alabama to celebrate with his friends and family – and also to mull his options.

With the victory at The American Express, Dunlap is now fully exempt on Tour through 2026. Whatever his decision, as the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, he also gets into at least three majors.

But there is an element of timing to Dunlap’s next move: Next week’s event at Pebble Beach is the second of seven signature events this season, for which Dunlap would now be eligible as a Tour winner. Four of the $20 million signature events don’t have a cut, guaranteeing him a sizable payday and more opportunities for upward mobility.

Appearing Tuesday on “Golf Today”, Alabama coach Jay Seawell said that he was meeting imminently with Dunlap and his family to discuss the options.

“He’s got a card. He’s part of the PGA Tour. It’s just a matter of when he wants to use that option,” Seawell said.

When asked by reporters immediately after the victory about his plans, Dunlap said his decision is “not just about me.”

“It affects a lot of people,” he said, including his teammates and coaches. Dunlap is likely to ascend to the No. 1-ranked college player in the country. “It’s a conversation I need to have with a lot of people before I make that decision.”

Seawell said one of the most important aspects of Dunlap’s decision is how soon he can create a “secure” and “stable” environment as a pro, similar to how the college culture at Alabama has allowed players to learn and eventually prosper.

The Crimson Tide’s season doesn’t resume until Feb. 19.

“There’s a purity about college golf,” Seawell said. “But I’m also smart enough to know there’s a big world out there waiting for all of our guys, it’s just a matter of when. When is Nick’s when, we’ll find that out pretty shortly.”

Seawell said that he was going to stress to Dunlap that he “has all the cards. This is his decision.”

“When are you going to be successful,” Seawell said, “because that’s the most important. I don’t think he’s a 15-minutes-of-fame kind of kid. I think he’s iconic. I think he’s historic. I think he has an opportunity to be something large in this game for many, many, many years. Don’t allow the quickness or the temptations of this decision to get in the way of that.”

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