All right, you might be asking yourself, “Who’s Jim Benepe?” It might surprise you to learn he’s a winner on the PGA Tour, and to this day he might be the most anonymous champion the past three decades. Benepe is a classic example of “whatever happened to…?” A Wyoming native, Benepe showed great promise at Northwestern University in Illinois, winning the Big 10 championship and earning All-American honors. After a solid career in golf’s minor league ranks, Benepe received a sponsor’s exemption to the 1988 Western Open, at the time a prestigious event just below the majors. Playing in his very first event on America’s main tour, Benepe surprisingly found himself in the winner’s circle when stalwart veteran Peter Jacobsen unexpectedly double-bogeyed the final hole to lose by one stroke. Benepe was never able to again find the form that propelled him to victory, and just four short years later in 1992, his tour career was basically over. He did make a comeback in the early 2000s with limited success, and shortly thereafter returned home to Sheridan, Wyoming, where today he works in the corporate world as a sales executive. But for one week in 1988, Benepe was the best player in the world, something that no one can ever take from him.    
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