Nick Dunlap wins The American Express, makes 114-year history

Nick Dunlap handled a PGA Tour Sunday pressure like a veteran.

With a six-foot par putt on the 18, the 20-year-old University of Alabama sophomore hit a perfect putt to win The American Express. Dunlap fired off a final round 70 to finish at 29-under and win by one shot over Christian Bezuidenhout.

He rose to the challenge while preaching, “Pressure is a privilege” all week.

Dunlap became the first amateur in more than three decades to win a PGA Tour event. Phil Mickelson was last to do so in 1991 at the Northern Telecom Open as a 20-year-old Arizona State sophomore. Moreover, he is the youngest amateur to win since 1910.

Yes, you read that right, 1910.

The reigning U.S. Amateur champion came into Sunday with a three-shot lead over Sam Burns. Throughout the day, Burns and others would challenge the youngster, but he fought back.

His double-bogey on the par-4 7th dropped him out of the lead, but barely phased him. He bounced right back and birdied the next hole to take a share of the lead again.

Down the stretch, Dunlap put the pressure on Burns. He made two crucial birdies on 14 and 16. His putt on 16 tied him for the lead with Burns with two to play, setting up a wild finish.

Burns’ tee shot found the water on 17, ultimately leading to a double bogey. He then doubled 18 as well to finish T6.

Bezuidenhout made a crucial birdie on the 18th to enter the clubhouse at 28-under. That put a little pressure on the 20-year-old, but it didn’t make any difference.

Dunlap stayed cool, calm and collected and pared both of his final two holes to take home the victory.

Six feet with a tournament on the line is not easy; it’s extremely stressful — Dunlap didn’t let that pressure both him in the least.

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.

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