Zimbabwe's Follett-Smith wins Cape Town Open

Cape Town - Zimbabwean Benjamin Follett-Smith won his maiden Sunshine Tour title when he claimed a two-shot victory over Zander Lombard and Jean-Paul Strydom on a total of 13-under-par 275 at the Cape Town Open on Sunday.

Still on his rookie season on Tour, Follett-Smith admitted that he came into the final aiming for a top-10 finish but got more than he’d expected at Royal Cape.

“I am happy to be able to show that I can win,” Follett-Smith said. “It is a great thing for me, at least, and not to prove anything to anyone else that I can win. I will be able to establish myself on Tour and be able to say I am actually worthy of being here. I came out here today thinking that I just need to finish in the top-10 so that I can get into next week at the Dimension Data Pro AM so I won’t have to play pre-qualifiers next week. It is really great for me to win this at this stage of my career.”

On a day when the wind was up and swirling for most of the time, it looked as though either of Lombard, Strydom or Peter Karmis would go on to win at Royal Cape, but a brilliant back nine catapulted the young Zimbabwean to the top spot.

He opened his round with a bogey and four pars later, made his first birdie. At the turn, he made another par as the wind made things difficult but from there on, there was no stopping him. He made three consecutive birdies from the 11th through to the 13th before taking a par on the 14th. Another three back-to-back birdies got onto his card as he carded a bogey-free 30 on the homeward stretch.

“I played the back nine so well,” he noted. “My putter was hot and everything. I could read the lines and everything was just going well for me. It all started on the par-five eleven, where I made a birdie. I made a good up-and-down, which was nice. I made a good putt there and two more on 12th and 13th then made a par. After that I made three birdies and the last hole I was driving, I hit it on the left, it actually bounced when it hit the flag and I had to up-and-down.”  

Tied for second on 11-under-par, Lombard and Strydom will feel they were in with a real chance at winning but when it’s not your week, it’s not your week.

Follett-Smith will now look forward to the rest of the season with a degree of confidence after his display at the oldest golf club in the country.

Scores:

275 - Benjamin Follett-Smith 68 69 72 66

277 - Zander Lombard 68 67 69 73, Jean-Paul Strydom 62 72 69 74

278 - Peter Karmis 63 66 77 72

279 - Hennie Otto 71 64 76 68, Jack Harrison 71 70 68 70, Jaco Ahlers 70 71 68 70

280 - Jacques P de Villiers 73 64 76 67, Adilson Da Silva 71 63 75 71, Herman Loubser 71 71 67 71, Jacques Kruyswijk 67 72 69 72, Andrew Curlewis 67 64 76 73, Thriston Lawrence 66 68 72 74, Madalitso Muthiya 67 69 70 74

281 - Victor Lange 71 70 70 70, Daniel Greene 67 71 72 71, Justin Walters 66 69 73 73

282 - Richard Bland 66 69 73 74

283 - Dawie Van der Walt 71 67 76 69, Keith Horne 69 71 70 73

284 - Rhys Enoch 67 73 76 68, Scott Campbell 67 70 76 71, Tyrone Ryan 70 70 72 72, Jbe' Kruger 69 67 75 73, Lyle Rowe 67 71 70 76

285 - Anthony Michael 71 71 69 74, MJ Viljoen 66 70 73 76, Ockie Strydom 69 70 70 76, Daniel van Tonder 66 70 72 77, Michael Palmer 68 70 69 78

286 - Doug McGuigan 68 72 72 74, Vaughn Groenewald 67 71 73 75, Wallie Coetsee 69 73 69 75, Neil Schietekat 70 72 69 75, Ross McGowan 68 72 68 78

287 - Mitch Waite 68 72 78 69, Trevor Fisher Jnr 69 71 75 72, Damon Stephenson 67 72 74 74, Jacques Blaauw 68 72 72 75, Keenan Davidse 72 69 71 75, Martin Rohwer 74 67 71 75, Luke Jerling 72 69 71 75, Luke Joy 72 70 70 75, JC Ritchie 66 72 73 76

288 - Stephen Ferreira 69 70 72 77

289 - Ian Ansett 70 72 78 69, Jake Roos 71 70 78 70, Kyle McClatchie 65 72 78 74, Jacquin Hess 71 70 73 75, David McIntyre 71 69 71 78

290 - Andrew van der Knaap 71 71 75 73, Tyler Hogarty 67 72 77 74, Teboho Sefatsa 69 70 75 76, Jason Viljoen 68 74 72 76, JJ Senekal 67 71 75 77, Harry Ellis 69 71 73 77

291 - Michael Hollick 68 71 77 75, Wynand Dingle 67 70 76 78, Christiaan Basson 69 70 72 80

292 - Matias Calderon 67 75 75 75, Rhys West 70 72 74 76, Estiaan Conradie 68 71 76 77, Garth Mulroy 72 68 75 77, Ruan Conradie 67 71 72 82

293 - Pieter Moolman 70 71 79 73

294 - Heinrich Bruiners 68 70 73 83

295 - Allister de Kock 70 72 77 76, Philip Geerts 70 72 77 76

296 - Bennie van der Merwe 69 73 74 80

298 - Anton Haig 71 70 78 79