Follet-Smith enjoys early birthday present with Maxi Bulawayo Open win

Benjamin Follet-Smith is presented with his trophy after his win at Bulawayo Golf Club

Rising Zimbabwean golf star Benjamin Follett-Smith gave himself the ideal early birthday present by winning the US$25 000 Maxi Bulawayo Open Golf Championship on Saturday.

Follet-Smith, who will celebrate his 29th birthday on Thursday, carded a closing 65 at Bulawayo Golf Club to claim the coveted title in the lucrative tournament on a 54-hole total of 15- under par, two shots clear of Nyasha Muyambo while Robson Chinhoi settled for third position on 10-under-par.

Tournament host Brian Gondo of Bulawayo Golf Club was in fourth position on five-under-par, a shot ahead of the defending champion Ignatius Mketekete and Malawian Peter Chidale, who both settled for a two-way tie for fifth position.

For the winner Follet-Smith’s second win this year after he recently claimed the biggest win of his fledgling career last month at the European Challenge Tour co-sanctioned Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.

“I played great the whole week, I struggled a bit on the greens, and I didn’t make as many putts as I usually do, but overall I’m happy to get the win,” Follet-Smith said in an interview with ZimSportLive.

Benjamin Follet-Smith celebrating after his recent win at the Cape Town Open

He praised the tournament’s sponsors Arenel Sweets & Biscuits through their Maxi Brand for putting together a well-organised tournament.

“The Maxi Bulawayo Open was brilliant, I haven’t played a Zimbabwe tournament like that before and that’s all because of the good work done by Josh (Arenel managing director Josh Lepar) and (Bulawayo Golf Club professional golfer) Brian Gondo and their team for doing a great job. Bulawayo Golf Club was incredible, the last time I was there was 10 years ago and I wasn’t expecting much but I was very happy to see that at least they are keeping it together and everything I looking good,” he said.

The win also came at the right time for Follet-Smith as he looks to build some momentum ahead of his participation in the DP World Tour co-sanctioned Magical Kenya Open which tees off in Nairobi on Thursday.

Follet-Smith secured an invite to feature in the tournament because of his recent win in Cape Town.

“It’s another one for my CV so I’m very appreciative to go there and win and now off to Kenya for the Kenyan open and hopefully we can keep on the momentum and keep going,” he said.



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