If you didn’t know who Nick Dunlap was before peeping that headline, hard to blame you. He’s a mere 20-year-old golfer at the University of Alabama. That’s kind of a bummer, because otherwise, he’d be in pole position for a first-place prize of over $1.5 million entering the final round of The American Express.
Dunlap fired a 12-under round of 60 on Saturday, and it’s safe to say this guy should forgo whatever remaining collegiate eligibility he has with the Crimson Tide and just turn pro.
History.@PGATOURU's Nick Dunlap becomes just the second amateur to shoot a 60 in a PGA TOUR event.
When a two-time major champ and fellow Alabama dude Justin Thomas is lighting it up en route to a 61 of his own to give chase to you and you don’t flinch even a fraction, you know you’re probably made of some special stuff. Or at least that’s the way Nick Dunlap should be thinking about himself, because my goodness, what a freaking 54 holes he just played against the best competition in the world.
It’d be one thing if this was, like, the Puerto Rico Open, or some other cross-schedule event while everyone else was competing in a major championship. Not really the case here. I’ll defer to my ex-colleague Dan Rapaport for more context on just how ridiculous Dunlap’s breakout performance is:
Justin Thomas shot -11 today and lost ground to a 20-year-old Alabama sophomore. Dunlap becomes just the 2nd amateur to shoot 60 on the PGA Tour. Amazing chance to become first amateur to win on tour since Phil in 1991. Roll Tide Roll. pic.twitter.com/ECmcswUDkv
Yup. Nick Dunlap is keeping singular company with the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. That’s not a bad pair to be associated with at age 20. Personally? I would take it.
Speaking of Phil, Lefty weighed in on what No Cap Dunlap — copyright/trademark, me — is doing, and how promising the next wave of young guns looks.
Nick Dunlap has a real shot this weekend to be the next amateur to win a Tour event. This generation of Aberg, Surratt, Sargent, Dunlap, and M.W. Lee are the youngest and most talented group of players I’ve seen and will be a force for decades.
It’s hard to get too hyped too early on prodigies like Dunlap. Golf is among the most unforgiving sports. It can chew guys up and spit ’em out. In this instance, though, I think it’s safe to say Dunlap is on a trajectory that should lead to him being a superstar in short order. Whether or not he can sustain it is another matter.
Dunlap already feels like the biggest thing since Jordan Spieth in terms of teen-ish guys who are ready to win big-time on the big circuit right out of the gates. Can’t wait to see what Dunlap does on Sunday and well beyond.
Below are merely some of the highlights (full round not available as of now) from Dunlap’s sparkling 60 in Round 3.