UNLV senior Kevin Penner held off Alabama’s defending champion Cory Whitsett to claim the 2012 Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic title on Tuesday afternoon at the El Paso Country Club.
“It’s pretty cool to have my name up there with a lot of people who have won this tournament and have gone on to do great things on Tour,” Penner said. “Hopefully I can follow in their footsteps.”
Penner and Whitsett went into the final round tied at first (-11) at the 71-par course. Whitsett birdied on the 15th to take the one-stroke lead, but bogeyed on the next two holes opening the door for Penner to take the win. With a birdie on 16, Penner only needed to hit par on each of the final two holes to become the 38th champion of the All-America Classic and UNLV’s third title in the storied event.
The wire-to-wire win is the eighth in tournament history and the first since Chris Nallen (Arizona) in 2003.
The 68.91 field average set a new 54-hole record besting the 69.89 set in 2006.
Arkansas’ Sebastian Cappelen posted a new tournament record in the closing 36-hole total with a score of 128 (65-63), while his final round score of 63 matched Jeremy Anderson’s tournament best set in 1998.