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Nick Dunlap has won the US Amateur after a 4&3 victory over Neal Shipley at Cherry Hills.
A strong second 18 holes saw Dunlap pull away after the pair had been tied at the halfway stage.
However, after both Dunlap and Shipley birdied the par-4 to open their challenges on the final 18, Dunlap pulled clear with birdies on the third and fourth. A par on the seventh was enough to put him 3-up and another birdie on the ninth thanks to a 30-foot putt saw him head to the turn after a five-under 30 on the front nine.
Dunlap continued that impressive momentum with a birdie at the 10th, which left him 4-up. That lead proved too much for Shipley to claw back and it become mathematically impossible after 33 holes.
The victory means Dunlap has become only the second player after Tiger Woods to win both the US Junior Amateur and US Amateur titles.
Dunlap won the US Junior Amateur in 2021, and ensured his name now goes alongside Woods in the record books, albeit after Woods won each title three times in a spell between 1991 and 1996.
After his win, the 19-year-old University of Alabama sophomore said: “Well, I think it’s only a third of what Tiger’s actually done. But just to be in the same conversation as Tiger is a dream come true and something that I’ve worked my entire life for. It’s the hours and hours that nobody sees to try to get to this point and even have a chance to win this trophy. It’s unbelievable; can’t put it into words.”
The manner of Dunlap’s win is even more impressive considering his start. After seven holes of the opening round of strokeplay in Colorado, Dunlap, who is ninth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, stood five over after a double bogey and triple bogey, before rallying with six birdies in the next 10 holes.
Dunlap explained that comeback had given him the belief he could win. He said: “I learned that I could do it; I always thought I could, but when you’re 5 over through seven and your mind is spinning and you can't see straight, you’re looking at the negative – I think I was in last place at one point.
“For me to be able to snap out of that, slow things down, back off, whatever it took for me to slow down and get back into my process, I think I just learned that anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it.”
As well as taking custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for a year, there are plenty of other perks coming Dunlap’s way for his victory, including a 10-year exemption to the US Amateur and places in the 2024 Masters at Augusta National, US Open at Pinehurst No.2 and The Open at Royal Troon.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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