By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN professional golfer Benjamin Follett-Smith won his first title on Challenge Tour title with a second victory at the Cape Town Open after a dramatic final day at Royal Cape Golf Club on Sunday.
The Challenge Tour is the second-tier men’s professional golf tour in Europe behind the main DP World Tour (formerly known as the DP World Tour).
Follet-Smith became the latest Zimbabwean to record a victory on one of the main tours when he posted a two under par final round of 70 to finish on 15 under.
He finished one shot ahead of South African Jaco van Zyl and Frenchman Ugo Coussaud who had set the target after a six under 66.
It was a memorable return to the Mother City for the 28-year-old Royal Harare Golf Club-based golfer, who won the Cape Town Open in 2019 before it became co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the Challenge Tour.
Follett-Smith was delighted to secure his second victory in Cape Town and he now moves to the top of Challenge Tour Order of Merit rankings which is known as the Road to Mallorca Rankings.
“This event has always been special for me,” he said.
“Cape Town is one of the best places in Southern Africa and I love coming back here. I have such good memories from 2019 and I always feel comfortable at Royal Cape.
“Today was an anxious round for me and I think that up and down for par on 17 proved to be the key moment so I’m very happy with that.”
Follett-Smith admitted he has struggled to find a level of consistency over the last two years but credited a combination of self-belief and hard work for his recent upturn in form.
“The last couple of years have been tough so I’m really proud of how I’ve managed to turn things around,” he said. “In my first year on the Sunshine Tour I picked up a win and Rookie of the Year but since then I have really struggled. I realised how important practice is and since then I’ve just worked harder and harder and now I’m starting to gain confidence again.
“Having my friends and family here this week was amazing and I just want to say thank you to the Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour for coming together and putting on such a terrific event at this historic golf club.”
Born in Harare, Follet-Smith started playing golf at a very tender age at Wingate Golf Club, where he was coached by the legendary teaching professional Lewis Muridzo-Chitengwa.
He excelled as a junior golfer and after completing his high school education at St John’s College, he earned a scholarship to Mississippi State University in the US, where he majored in marketing.
Since turning professional in 2018, Follet-Smith has mainly competed on the South Africa-based Sunshine Tour and the Asian Tour but after his maiden win on the Challenge Tour is now set ti be competing in Europe regularly.