Nick Dunlap is already a PGA Tour winner and is debuting as a professional this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. As an amateur, Dunlap won the American Express earlier this month in La Quinta, Calif., becoming the first to do so since Phil Mickelson in 1991.
It has been a whirlwind of two weeks for the 20-year-old.
Ahead of his official debut as a pro golfer, he met with the media to explain what a blur the last week has been.
“Hectic, but also cool,” he said. “I’ve had numerous moments where you take it all in. It’s overwhelming. I’ve dreamed about doing this my whole life and playing golf on the PGA TOUR. To finally be here and to be able to do that as a 20-year-old is pretty cool.”
After winning, he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open and returned to Alabama. From there, Dunlap decided to turn pro with the help of his teammates.
“I knew that I was probably going to turn pro with the opportunity that had been presented, but also, I wanted to go back and talk to my teammates, my parents and my coach and get their opinion and their two cents worth before I did anything,” Dunlap said. “They were all supportive of whatever I thought I needed to do going forward, whether that be stay in college or chase this professional dream.”
The youngster played a practice round with Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns to prepare for Pebble Beach. Two of the younger stars on Tour were there to mentor the former Crimson Tide golfer.
“Scottie and Sam were awesome,” Dunlap said. “I’ve reached out to them numerous times in the last week seeing their advice and opinions on some of the things I’m doing moving forward. They’ve proven themselves as some of the best players on the planet. Learn from them — what they do in practice rounds, how they prepare, and incorporate that in my own game.”
He didn’t just ask those two guys for their advice but turned to his PlayStation gaming device to get ready for Pebble Beach.
“I remember playing this place on PGA Tour PlayStation game, so to be out here and to see it for the first time is pretty cool,” he said.
Sometimes, a video game is the only way for young golfers to play iconic courses like Pebble. Maybe this knowledge will help him this week as he takes on this track for real.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.