How Social Media Reacted To Nick Dunlap's Solo Tee Times At The Arnold Palmer Invitational

The American Express champion will play on his own during the first two rounds at Bay Hill this week - much to the surprise and frustration of many a golf fan

Nick Dunlap hitting driver at the Cognizant Classic with a handful of screenshots around his body
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nick Dunlap has enjoyed a relatively storied start to life on the PGA Tour this year. From his record-breaking victory as an amatuer at The American Express to firing home his first ace at the Cognizant Classic, Dunlap has found himself at the centre of attention a few times already.

His latest trip into the spotlight arrived courtesy of a seemingly strange decision by tournament organizers at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, however. In the limited field of 70 at Bay Hill, only Tony Finau is not playing despite being eligible.

But instead of placing Dunlap into a three-ball at a different point in the day, the 20-year-old has been informed he will head out on his own during rounds one and two. He is the first man out on Thursday, while he tees off midway through the morning on Friday - still with just himself for company.

The PGA Tour has reportedly not used markers for years - someone who would simply play the course and keep an unbiased track of their playing partner's score for competition purposes.

After the news broke of Dunlap's solo adventure, the golfing segment of social media shared its general shock and several sarcastic responses - as well as featuring a few pros who offered their services after missing out on the increased prize money and points.

Performance coach and golf statistician, Lou Stagner kicked things off with a smart and charitable solution to the issue.

He said: "They should raffle off the "open" spot to a weekend warrior. $200 to enter. Donate the money to charity. I'd tune in to watch Brad from accounting slap a 125 on the board."

Meanwhile, Bros and Birdies simply pointed out what should have been the obvious.

Former PGA Tour player and current CBS broadcaster, Colt Knost echoed the aforementioned post in an exasperated tone.

The Daily Telegraph's golf correspondent, James Corrigan was also frustrated by the decision from Arnold Palmer Invitational officials.

He said: "Not sure I've ever seen a player being put out on their own in a first round before. It is wrong and against competition, in my opinion."

On the less serious side of the coin, plenty of fans simply made pop-culture references when sharing their thoughts on how Dunlap might feel as a solo player.

Finally, PGA Tour pro, Andrew Novak was one of a few people who cheekily offered to play alongside Dunlap.

Dunlap will need to put the chatter about his lone tee time to one side this week as he contends in the latest Signature Event on the PGA Tour calendar - one that offers up a mammoth $20 million prize purse.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.