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Jim Benepe

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Jim Benepe
Personal information
Full nameJames L. Benepe III
Born (1963-10-24) October 24, 1963 (age 60)
Sheridan, Wyoming
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)
Sporting nationality United States
CollegeNorthwestern University
Turned professional1986
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Canadian Tour
Professional wins3
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour1
PGA Tour of Australasia1
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentCUT: 1989, 1991
PGA ChampionshipCUT: 1988
U.S. OpenT14: 1990
The Open ChampionshipT28: 1988

James L. Benepe III (born October 24, 1963) is an American professional golfer who has played on the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour.


Benepe was born, raised and lived most of his life in Sheridan, Wyoming. He attended Northwestern University[1] and was a first-team All-American in 1986 as well as the 1986 Big Ten Champion while a member of the golf team. He turned pro in 1986.

Benepe played his first full-year as a professional golfer, 1987, in Asia, on the Australian Tour and on the Canadian Tour. That year, he won the British Columbia Open in Canada; and was the winner of the Canadian Tour's Order of Merit and Rookie of the Year awards. In February 1988, he won Victorian Open in Melbourne, Australia.

Benepe won the 1988 Beatrice Western Open, the first PGA Tour event he ever played in.[2] The tournament was held at Butler National GC in Oak Brook, Illinois that year, and he only got in through a last-minute sponsor exemption. Benepe used a local caddie, James Tunney, to help him to his victory. Peter Jacobsen double bogeyed the 72nd hole, which gave Benepe the victory. It turned out to be his only career win in an official PGA Tour event. He won the PGA Tour's 1988 Rookie of the Year honors.[3] He is still the only person to win a PGA Tour event on his first attempt and the only Wyoming-born PGA Tour winner.

Benepe left the PGA Tour at the end of the 1991 season after struggling the previous several years with back problems and technical problems with his game. After leaving the Tour, he came home to Sheridan and began working in real estate sales and promotions. After a long hiatus, he began playing competitive tour golf again in the late 1990s in Australia, on the PGA Tour and in about 15 events per year on the Nationwide Tour.[4] Benepe finished 26th on the Nationwide Tour in 2001 with 6 top-10 finishes and 16th on the Australian Order of Merit.

Benepe was inducted into the Wyoming Sports & Wyoming State Golf Association Hall of Fames in 2006 and the Northwestern Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.[3]

Today he works in the corporate world consulting in various aviation arenas and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming with his wife.

Amateur wins (3)[edit]

  • 1982 Wyoming Stroke Play Championship, Western Junior
  • 1983 Wyoming State Match Play Championship

Professional wins (3)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Jul 3, 1988 Beatrice Western Open −10 (71-68-69-70=278) 1 stroke United States Peter Jacobsen

PGA Tour of Australia wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Feb 14, 1988 Victorian Open −6 (69-68-74-71=282) 3 strokes Australia Ian Baker-Finch, Australia Peter McWhinney

Canadian Tour wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Aug 30, 1987 George Williams B.C. Open −9 (69-75-70=204) 2 strokes United States Jim Hallet, Canada Jim Rutledge

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1988 1989 1990 1991 ... 2005
Masters Tournament CUT CUT
U.S. Open T14 CUT CUT
The Open Championship T28
PGA Championship CUT
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jim Benepe profile". PGA Tour. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  2. ^ "Surprise Winner". The New York Times. July 5, 1988. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Wyoming State Golf Association Hall of Fame". Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  4. ^ "Best of Both Worlds for Jim Benepe". Golf Today. Archived from the original on March 16, 2006.

External links[edit]