Amateur Nick Dunlap to turn pro and join LIV Golf? Here's what he had to say...

Nick Dunlap, who became the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson in 1991, has addressed the LIV Golf rumours.

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 23 Jan 2024
Amateur Nick Dunlap to turn pro and join LIV Golf? Here's what he had to say...

There are two obvious questions Nick Dunlap has to answer in light of his history-making PGA Tour victory. 

In case you weren't aware, the 20-year-old became the first amateur to win on the North American circuit since Phil Mickelson in 1991. 



After the tears dried following the gutsy six-foot putt he holed to claim The American Express, he was asked by reporters if he would now be turning professional. 

His answer was entirely predictable. He's not sure and will take some time to discuss his next move with his family, coach and girlfriend Isabella Ellis

As the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, Dunlap already has starting berths at the 48th Masters, Open and U.S. Open

Should he now turn pro, he would relinquish a spot at the Open at Royal Troon but will be offered a place at the U.S. PGA Championship at Valhalla instead. 

Dunlap would also be in the field for the remaining seven lucrative signature events should he decide to turn professional. 

Surely the answer is obvious? 

It should be noted that two LIV players, Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, were quick to congratulate Dunlap on the win. 

"Way to pull through under pressure," Rahm wrote on X. "This is just the beginning," Mickelson added on the same platform. 

There's no denying that Dunlap would be a huge coup for LIV. 

Furthermore, it's also important to consider that Dunlap is represented by GSE and his agent Kevin Canning worked on the deal that brought Jason Kokrak to the rival league. 

GSE also represents other LIV players such as Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer, Paul Casey, Joaquin Niemann, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Carlos Ortiz, Sebastian Munoz, Branden Grace, Eugenio Chacarra and Mito Pereira.  

Asked recently by Golfweek if he has any interest in taking part at LIV, Dunlap said: "As of right now I have no idea, I really don't."

Dunlap explained, much like Rory McIlroy did after his fourth victory at the Dubai Desert Classic, that he grew up watching Tiger Woods and he wants to emulate the iconic golfer. 

"I don't know if that's cocky or not," he said. 

He explained: "I've always grown up dreaming of playing on the PGA Tour, and making a putt just like a little bit ago, to win a PGA Tour event.

"That was always my dream, to do that. I’ve always tried to chase something that nobody else has done.

"That's why I always put in the work that I do, I want to do something special, and something memorable, not only for me, but maybe to leave something behind for somebody else to try to follow and gauge at.

He continued: "For me, that's Tiger, right. Like I probably won’t ever even be close to some of the records he set, but I always try to set myself, you know, I'm trying to chase him.

"I know that's an extremely high bar, and I don't know if that comes off really cocky or not, but for me that's something, I consider him the greatest ever, and for me to try to chase that, and even to be in somewhat of a conversation with him is, like I had said, it's a dream come true, and it's why I do what I do."

LIV's third campaign kicks off in Mexico on 2 February. 

The aforementioned Rahm has still not confirmed who will be in his side yet, nor has he revealed the name of his team. 

It is thought another young golfer who could have a big future in the game, Caleb Surratt, has agreed to join Rahm's team. 

And according to Telegraph Sport, Tyrell Hatton is now Rahm's number one target after England's Tommy Fleetwood turned down another offer from the Saudi-backed league. 

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