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    Jim Benepe
    Jim Benepe

    Contemporary Era:
    2006 Inductee



    Benepe savored a stellar two-year career with the Wildcats, earning first-team All-America honors in 1986 and claiming the 1986 Big Ten championship. In addition, he posted a top-10 finish that year at the NCAA National Championships.

    Benepe, who played his first two years at Weber State, earned All-Big Ten distinction in both 1985 and '86. He also was named Northwestern's 1986 Male Athlete of the Year. In 2007, he ranked fifth on Northwestern's career stroke average list, and had posted two of the lowest single-season stroke averages in Wildcat history -- the 11th and 13th best all-time.

    After leaving Northwestern, Benepe embarked on a professional career that has seen him play 123 events. His professional highlight came in 1988, when making his first PGA Tour start, won the Western Open in Oak Brook, Ill. Up until 2001, he was the last professional golfer to win a PGA Tour event in his first start. He won the PGA Tour's 1988 Rookie of the Year honor.

    Benepe, a 2006 Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame inductee and a corporate marketing manager with Phoenix Fuel, LLC, also recorded professional wins on the Australian Tour (1987 Victoria Open) and the Canadian Tour (1987 British Columbia Open). After leaving the tour in the early 1990s, Benepe returned to competitive golf in the late 1990s, playing in select events in Australia, on the PGA Tour and in several events on the Nationwide Tour.