Zimbabwe’s Benjamin Follett-Smith produced a brilliant burst of three birdies in his last four as he fired a four-under-par 68 on the opening round of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters on Thursday.
Follet-Smith will begin the second round in the US$1 million event on Friday just two shots off the lead and with a good chance of ending a string of six missed cuts in succession on the Asian Tour.
The 28-year-old gifted Harare-born golfer has been enduring a difficult season on tour but recently returned home to win the Gokomere Open on the newly formed Chevron Golf Tour.
Follet-Smith, a winner on the South Africa-based Sunshine Tour has been working very hard not only on his game but also on the mental aspect of the sport.
And after some long periods spent on the range and on the golf course, things are slowly starting to fall into place for the former Mississippi State University golf star.
Follet-Smith start his round at Taiwan Golf and Country Club, with a birdie on the first which was followed by seven straight pars and a bogey on the ninth.
He played his best golf on the back nine, where he circled birdies on seven, 13, 15, 16 and 18.
How it stands after Round 1 of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters ⛳
— Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) September 29, 2022
It was a refreshing return to form for the Royal Harare Golf Club member who won the Cape Town Open on the Sunshine Tour in February 2019, a few months after turning professional.
Meanwhile defending champion Wang Wei-hsiang picked up where he left off in last year’s Mercuries Taiwan Masters by shooting a six-under-par 66 to take the first-round lead on Thursday.
Thailand’s Sarit Suwannarut, Donlaphatchai Niyomchon and Nitithorn Thippong, India’s Rashid Khan, and Hung Chien-yao from Chinese-Taipei shot 67s
Suradit Yongcharoenchai from Thailand, the winner here in 2019, and Chinese-Taipei star Chan Shih-chang fired 68s, along with four other players, including Follet Smith.