March 22, 2021

Ben Follet Smith Defies Odds At Betway

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Mugove Chigada

ZIMBABWE professional golfer Ben Follet-Smith’s impressive outing at the Gauteng Championship could be indication he will rise to be a powerhouse in the Sunshine Tour in coming years.

Follet-Smith carded 71, 66, 72 and 69 for a total ten-under to finish 15th and pocket R14 885 over the weekend.
Although the gap from champion Jbe’ Kruger, who closed with a 66 and on 21 under par, was massive, there is indication the Zimbabwean’s rise will continue.

Other Zimbabweans including Mark Williams, Mohammad Rauf Mandhu, Shaahid Mahmed and Greg Bentley, failed to make the cut.

It was Follet-Smith who rose to the occasion, showing why in 2020 he secured his first Asian tour card before Covid-19 disrupted his progress.

And not even the fact that he only turned professional in 2017 has been a huge factor for the 23- year-old.

Kruger, a former Zimbabwe Open champion, said it was not an easy battle, highlighting the same factors that Follet-Smith had to go through for the tournament presented by Betway.

“It’s tough when you’re not playing great, but I’ve had some wonderful support from my family,” Kruger was quoted as saying by Sunshine Tour.

“I think in light of the whole Covid-19 situation and me trying to fix my swing, this victory ranks in at least top two wins of my career.

“I’ve never had to win under this amount of pressure. With me playing badly, I didn’t have a great category on the Sunshine Tour so I only had a handful of tournaments I was exempt for to try and do something. So to win under those circumstances is really sweet.”

It has been the same situation for most of the Zimbabwean golfers as the sport continues to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.

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