‘I’ve Enjoyed’: Nick Dunlap Shows No Concern for the ‘Amateur Curse’, Blissfully Ignores Typical Newbie Worries

Published 01/20/2024, 8:42 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Just one more day remains for the 2024 American Express to dish out its winner. However, the event this time around has witnessed an amateur golfer taking the lead on the scoreboard in a bid to emerge victorious. Yes, it’s Nick Dunlap who has set himself up for contention for the title. But, kindly be aware, he’s not your average newbie on the golf course, or so he says!

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The golfer was talking about his week’s play in a press conference at the third event on the 2024 PGA Tour calendar. However, while doing so, he made sure to emphasize how he was enjoying the event, all the while trying to win, unlike other amateur athletes on the greens!

Nick Dunlap candidly shares about his mindset

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In the presser, the 20-year-old was asked about whether testing himself on the big stage and being in contention to win the title has changed his outlook. Dunlap, interestingly, was quick to deny the same as he said, “I’m still trying to gain as much experience as I can,” while alluding to the few PGA Tour-sanctioned events he has participated in, including the 2022 and 2023 U.S. Opens and the 2023 Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

Continuing with his response, he pointed out how the golf courses “are still similar” despite many of them being “different from college,” as he hinted at some of the things he learned while appearing on the big stage. But even so, the amateur golfer made sure to express his determination to win, all the while conveying his pleasure in “playing in front of the crowds” at the same time. He said, “I’ve enjoyed it. I’m going to stick to what I’ve been doing,” before continuing to mention, “and that’s just give myself as many birdie chances as possible.”

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The young athlete has propelled himself to the top spot after three days of play by carding himself a score of 27-under. Moreover, he was able to do so by registering 64, 65, and 60 on the three par-73 courses over the rounds.

USA Today via Reuters

If the youngster manages to win the event, he will be raking in his first victory on the men’s circuit. However, that’s not all. What else, you ask? Well, he will make a special list of golfers including the likes of Phil Mickelson.

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Dunlap’s unique feat in the making

The American would be able to become the first golfer in three decades to win an event on the PGA Tour as an amateur. The last one came in 1991 when Mickelson won the Northern Telecom Open in Tucson, Arizona. Besides, such an achievement would make him the second-youngest athlete to card a win in over nine decades.

2024 American Express: Power Rankings, Defending Champion, Prize Money, and Major Details

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Although he would not be getting any prize money or points his way, Dunlap would be able to earn a Tour card through the 2026 season, all the while enabling him to play in all of the 2024 signature events if he turns pro before them. There is much at stake for the golfer, yet he is still enjoying his PGA Tour experience while eyeing the trophy. Not your run-of-the-mill amateur!

Watch This Story – 2024 American Express: Final Round Tee Times for Justin Thomas, Sam Burns, Nick Dunlap & Others

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Written by:

Allan Abe

911Articles

One take at a time

My search for happiness eventually led me, Allan Abe, to the hallways of ES after dabbling in different fields. Following my childhood passion for the sport and coupling it with my passion for writing, the role of a golf writer was the perfect career path and has been more than a fruitful one. Through the live coverage and in-depth analysis of the lives of big stars like Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm, I have put to use all my journalistic-accolade-winning experience, from state-wide events to college competitions, to give the reader a great story with every piece.
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Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

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