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20-year-old amateur Nick Dunlap withdraws from Farmers Insurance Open after historic win

Nick Dunlap’s encore performance on the PGA Tour will have to wait

Nick Dunlap won’t be headed to San Diego this week after all.

The 20-year-old amateur, fresh off his historic win on Sunday at The American Express, officially withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on Monday.

“After a life changing last 24 hours, I’ve decided to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open,” he said in a statement. “I plan to return home to Alabama to be with family, friends and teammates.”

Dunlap, who is a sophomore at the University of Alabama, became the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson did so in 1991. Dunlap is also the youngest amateur to win on Tour since Chick Evans in 1910, and the first reigning U.S. Amateur winner to win on Tour since Tiger Woods did so in 1996.

Dunlap posted a final-round 70 to get to 29-under on the week, and he broke down in an emotional scene after making his final putt at the Pete Dye Stadium Course.

Naturally, his teammates were celebrating right along with him back on their team bus.

Dunlap couldn’t pocket the $1.5 million prize for winning the tournament, however, as he’s still an amateur. His win earned him several entries into future tournaments this season, and a two-year exemption for the PGA Tour if he chooses to turn pro, which he can do now at any time.

"I have no idea. I really don't," Dunlap said about the decision to turn pro after his win. " It's really cool to have that opportunity in the first place. ... That's something that it doesn't just affect me. It affects a lot of people, coach back there and my teammates, and it's a conversation I need to have with a lot of people before I make that decision."

Nick Dunlap became the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since 1991 on Sunday when he won The American Express.
Nick Dunlap became the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since 1991 on Sunday when he won The American Express. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) (Sean M. Haffey via Getty Images)

But instead of competing again right away — he had already earned a sponsor exemption for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, but his win on Sunday earned him an automatic spot — he’ll instead head home to rest. It’s unclear when Dunlap will compete again, or if he will do so before the Masters in April.

Justin Thomas, who finished T3 at the American Express, also withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on Monday. The tournament will tee off on Wednesday and finish on Saturday to avoid the NFL’s conference championship games on Sunday.